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Postal Union Members Rally Against 'Death Spiral of Cuts and Closures'

Beyond a call to save Saturday service, multi-faceted assault on workers, customers must be stopped, says group

- Andrea Germanos, staff writer

With Congress weeks away from deciding the fate of Saturday Postal Service delivery, some postal union members are saying the fight must be not only about saving six-day delivery but about stopping the multi-pronged assault on the postal system including privatization efforts.

(Photo: Martha Heinemann Bixby / flickr) The National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) has called for a day of action on March 24 to rally public support for saving Saturday delivery.

Writing in Labor Notes, Jamie Partridge, a retired letter carrier and an organizer for the rank-and-file network Communities and Postal Workers United (CPWU), asserts that the singular focus of the NALC action is at "the exclusion of all the other attacks on postal workers, facilities, and service to customers."

For the CPWU, Partridge writes, other demands should include: "save door-to-door delivery; reverse the closures of mail plants and offices; stop the privatization of trucking; and stop the sale of post offices and the delay of the mail."

These calls for cuts are based on a manufactured "financial crisis," he writes, and points out that "[p]iecemeal privatization has been ongoing since the 1971 Postal Reorganization Act took the Post Office out of the federal budget and established the non-profit U.S. Postal Service."

Partridge writes that "the only way to stop the death spiral of cuts and closures" is for the four postal unions, the NALC as well as the National Rural Letter Carriers Association, the American Postal Workers Union and the National Postal Mail Handlers, to come together as "the nation's largest unionized workforce" in a show of force not seen since the wildcat strike of 1970.

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