The Battle for the Post Office and Democracy by Clint Burelson




 In spite of this obvious success, there is currently an alleged financial “crisis” threatening this long esteemed institution and Congress’s “solution” is to dismantle the Postal Service in order to cut costs. As a result, the Postal Service is in the process of implementing a “transformation” plan to: close or reduce the hours at small and rural post offices, delay the mail by closing or consolidating mail processing centers, eliminate living wage jobs and/or reduce the wages and benefits of postal workers, eliminate Saturday delivery, and require cluster boxes instead of home delivery. These are dramatic and damaging service changes that are simply unfounded, unnecessary, and against the law.

The damaging changes underway at the Post Office are a direct result of the lobbying efforts of large corporate mailers who do not want to lose their deep discounts and pay their fair share of postage. To avoid higher postage rates for advertising, the large mailers have relentlessly pushed the Postal Service to cut costs by reducing postal services to the American people.

The companies lobbying for the reduction in service to the public are the major banks and financial institutions (Bank of America, JP Morgan, American Express, etc.,) large media corporations (Time Warner, McClatchy, etc.,) and other corporations who stand to directly benefit from the dismantling of the Post Office (UPS, FedEx, RR Donnelly, Pitney Bowes, etc.) The owners of these powerful corporations have used their money and power to elect, lobby and otherwise direct important government officials to make the service cuts that benefit the large corporations at the expense of the American people. This lobbying has also successfully protected the foolishly generous rates given to bulk mailers. In fact a case can easily be made that rates are so low for bulk corporate mail that this rate structure is essentially a subsidy for large businesses, which is unwittingly being paid for by higher postage rates for the American public.

For many years now, the large mailers, Congress, the President of the United States, and the Postal Board of Governors have cooperated in the systematic dismantling of the Post Office. This is evidenced by the transfer of work to the private sector through “worksharing” discounts, the purposeful short staffing of employees at the counters in post offices, the removal of collection boxes, and the substitution of cluster boxes for home or curbside delivery, etc. The reduction of service to the public increases the profit for the large advertisers and also undermines the good will of the public towards the Postal Service. The transfer of postal work to the private sector results in living wage union jobs turned into low wage non-union jobs. The private owner pockets the difference in wages.
The Battle for the Post Office and Democracy


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