Postal Workers Rally Against Privatization
SCRANTON — Postal employees and others rallied Monday in downtown Scranton in opposition to a White House proposal to privatize the U.S. Postal Service.
Carrying signs and chanting, “U.S. Mail! It’s not for sale!” about 60 people spent about an hour outside the Wyoming Avenue office of U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright to show their support for the postal service and to sound the alarm over what privatization would mean for Americans.
“A lot of bad things will happen,” said Walter Sanko, president of the Scranton-area Branch 17 of the National Association of Letter Carriers. “It’s going to hurt senior citizens. It’s going to hurt businesses. It’s going to hurt small industries. It’s going to hurt communities.”
Organized by the NALC and other postal unions, including American Postal Workers Union and the National Postal Mail Handlers Union, the rally was among more than 100 held across the country.
Many of the demonstrations were taking outside the district offices of U.S. House members, said Kevin Gallagher, vice president of the Pennsylvania APWU.
“It’s to let them know we need their support,” Gallagher said, adding that Cartwright has been a consistent opponent of privatization.
In June, the administration’s Office of Management and Budget proposed privatizing the postal service as part of a sweeping reorganization of multiple government agencies. A task force appointed by President Donald Trump to examine an overhaul of the postal service delivered its findings to the White House in August, but its recommendations have not been made public.
Gallagher said the task force report, which apparently will be withheld until after the Nov. 6 midterm elections, is expected to call for full privatization or selling off the USPS package delivery service. Either option would result in increased delivery costs for consumers, he said.
“We want to alert people that after the midterms there are going to be catastrophic recommendations and, if they go through, the public is going to suffer,” he said.
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