A 'Grand Alliance’ of More than 60 National Organizations Advocates Expanded Public Postal Services; Opposes Service Cuts, Privatization

A 'Grand Alliance’ of More than 60 National Organizations Advocates Expanded Public Postal Services; Opposes Service Cuts, Privatization

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Sally Davidow




WASHINGTON—Sixty-three national organizations have formed “A Grand Alliance to Save Our Public Postal Service.” A Feb. 12 news conference will present advocates for improved, public postal services and the premiere of a 2-minute video, featuring actor Danny Glover.

This unprecedented alliance is comprised of national religious coalitions, retiree organizations, educational and postal and other unions, lawmakers, and progressive advocacy groups. These prestigious organizations have come together because the U.S. Postal Service, an institution older than the nation itself, is in danger.

WHO:          Richard J. Fiesta, Executive Director of the Alliance of Retired Americans; Melanie L. Campbell, Convener of the Black Women’s Roundtable and President and CEO of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, and  Mark Dimondstein, President of the American Postal Workers Union.

WHAT:       News Conference to launch A Grand Alliance to Save Our Public Postal Service

WHEN:       Thursday, Feb. 12, 2 p.m.

WHERE:    National Press Club, Bloomberg Room, 13th Floor, National Press Building (14th and F Streets NW)

USPS’ Recent History of Delays and Decline

  • Just last month, then-Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe lowered service standards for the entire nation, slowing the delivery of mail to 150 million U.S. homes and businesses.
  • In coming months, the Postal Service plans to close 82 mail-sorting facilities that will lead to further delays, as well as a loss of jobs and economic activity in communities across the nation.
  • The Postal Service’s financial “crisis” is a manufactured one, caused by a congressional mandate that no other government agency or private company bears. It requires the USPS to set aside more than $5 billion a year to pre-fund retiree health benefits 75 years in advance – for employees not even born.
  • Without this unique burden, USPS would have made a profit of $1.4 billion in fiscal year 2014, $600 million in 2013, and $1.1 billion in the first quarter of fiscal year 2015.
  • Although the intentions of the new Postmaster General Megan Brennan remain unclear (she assumed her position Feb. 1), the previous Postmaster General advocated for an end to 6-day-a-week mail delivery.
  • USPS has reduced hours at neighborhood post offices while moving services to office-supply retailer Staples, where mail is handled in a less secure manner, and retail workers receive little training in processing mail.  The Staples arrangement and other USPS privatization efforts have led to a decline in the quality of service and the replacement of living-wage jobs with poverty-level wages.

USPS Can Have a Bright Future

All is not doom and gloom. USPS has opportunities to improve its bottom line and offer expanded hours and services by taking full advantage in the growth of package delivery resulting from ecommerce; by expanding into postal banking and offering customers –especially those with low incomes – check cashing and bill paying services, as well as other services, such as access to a public notary. Postal reform legislation that could eliminate the unfair pre-funding mandate also would provide USPS with the necessary income to expand services and modernize.

Sneak Preview of Grand Alliance Ads

Timed to the Grand Alliance’s launch, advertisements will run in the Washington Post, Politico and other publications and websites. The ads can be viewed on the Grand Alliance’s website at AGrandAlliance.org. 

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