Continuing Our Work in a New Administration

November 17, 2020

Share this article

(This article first appeared in the November/December 2020 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine)

The past four years have been perhaps the most critical since the founding of A Grand Alliance to Save our Public Postal Service in 2013. The Trump administration, following decades of corporate-backed hostility to a public Post Office, had pursued an increasingly aggressive attack on our national treasure.

While a changing political landscape means the Trump administration’s hostility will soon be behind us, supporters of our public Postal Service cannot let down their guard. We should take this moment of transition to reflect on the important role the Alliance played, celebrate our successes, and also critically analyze the threats that remain to a most vital national institution.

From the early days of the outgoing administration, it was clear that President Trump was no friend of the public Postal Service. His early appointees to the Postal Board of Governors were almost uniformly businessfriendly chief executives, with little to no previous interest in the preservation and expansion of the public Postal Service. As the financial crisis caused by the unprecedented retiree health benefits prefunding mandate deepened, the outgoing administration refused to champion needed reforms to free the Postal Service from the crippling mandate.

Instead, the administration echoed bogus fears of an impending “taxpayer bailout” of the Postal Service. By June 2018, the White House was on the record openly proposing the privatization of the Postal Service. In December 2018, the White House Task Force, having barely consulted postal workers or the millions of customers who rely on affordable, reliable universal service, proposed a series of draconian cuts that would have made the mail slower, less dependable and more expensive. It even suggested doing away with the collective bargaining rights of postal workers.

And most recently, as the pandemic took hold and further rocked the Postal Service’s finances, the administration stubbornly blocked much-needed emergency funding for the Postal Service. The President called the people's Post Office “a joke” and again called for massive price increases that would have driven millions of customers out of the system.

Thankfully, at every turn, the members of A Grand Alliance and masses of supportive postal patrons across the country pushed back and fought to save the Postal Service. We petitioned the Board of Governors, rallied in the streets and in front of post offices, made tens of thousands of calls to Congress and delivered millions of petition signatures to leaders in Washington, D.C. Put simply, they wanted to steal the Postal Service. Together, we stopped them.

But we are not out of the woods yet. The Postal Service continues to face daunting financial challenges. It remains unclear if a new Congress is prepared to deliver the kind of reforms the postal public needs. Louis DeJoy, who in his earliest weeks as Postmaster General proposed a series of damaging changes to postal operations and policy, is still Postmaster General. He cannot be immediately removed by the Biden administration.

And most critically, while the forces that have long advocated postal privatization lost a champion in the White House, they remain an ever-present and powerful force in American politics, with benefactors in both major political parties.

Members of A Grand Alliance must remain vigilant. We must be prepared to continue organizing and mobilizing against every threat to the public Postal Service. We must also be prepared to articulate a positive vision for a robust public agency – we must fight for what the Postal Service ought to be.

That’s why the first order of business in the new year will be a major policy conference, to develop and build a plan to win a People’s Postal Agenda. Stay tuned to APWU and A Grand Alliance websites and social media platforms for more details in the coming weeks.

A Grand Alliance to Save Our Public Postal Service is a broad coalition of national, state and local organizations including the NAACP, Vote Vets, Jobs with Justice, National Council of Churches and Rainbow PUSH. These groups have come together to take a stand against the unprecedented assaults on the Postal Service including efforts to dismantle and privatize it. To join A Grand Alliance, visit

Sign up for News

Stay in touch with your union

Subscribe to receive important information from your union.