The Postal Service is Not a Piggy Bank

By: Sardebra Wright, President

Most people don’t realize that the U.S. Postal Service is self sustaining. That’s right folks, we haven’t gotten a dime from the federal government in over 30 years and yet Congress is always trying to take money from the postal service. There’s a problem with budget cuts to the veterans, Congress’ solution is to eliminate Saturday delivery from the postal service. There is a problem with the country’s infrastructure, Congress says lets eliminate Saturday delivery and save money. What money? You don’t give us any so there’s a big savings right there. The government contributes 0 to the postal service so how did we become a burden.

And now Senators Coburn and Carper want to put a worker’s compensation mandate on top of the unfair retiree healthcare mandate that we already have. Even Ray Charles can see it’s all about the money. The postal service actually made a profit but because of the healthcare mandate a loss has been attributed to the agency. There’s a joke in the postal service about us being the stepchildren of the federal government. You see when there’s a benefit given to federal employees for their service, they would remind us that we weren’t actually federal employees because they don’t fund us. But…when they need us to report to work in horrendous weather conditions like a pending level 5 hurricane, we are told that as federal employees we have to report to work. Neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet, nor hail which should be spelled with an e and a double l will delay the postal worker from his appointed duties.

There was a song in the 80’s that went “I love money, lots and lots of money”, which is definitely the anthem of Congress. It’s all about the money. You see if the postal service was allowed to update their services to include things like postal banking, bill payment, and different licenses, we would make even more of a profit. Somewhere there is somebody or several some bodies waiting to privatize the postal service and step in to provide no efficiency, no accountability, and little to no services. Recently, a union President in the AFL-CIO told me they felt sorry for us because our fight was heavy lifting. We know that, but we are not going to lie down and wait for Congress to take our livelihoods. We are going to fight this battle and win. The retirees have age, wisdom, and a can of “whup you know what” (remember the wrestler Steve Austin) that we are not afraid to open. You see we have so much to lose, namely everything. After working hard for over 20 years and being kicked out the door in violation of our rights, all we have are our benefits, and we’re not giving them back.

If Congress is trying to take our benefits, then we have to fight Congress with the one sure thing we have, our vote. If the politicians in Washington and Tallahassee and Miami-Dade, and the various cities don’t support us, then why are we supporting them? Kick them out the door! It’s not about Democrats or Republicans, it’s about Constituents. We’ve been visiting the different legislators and making sure they understand the concerns of postal workers and what we need from them. We are asking our Grassroots Coordinators and National Legislative Director to consult with us prior to contributing to any campaign. The time has come for unions to support candidates that truly represent the people.