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Picket against USPS service cuts Thursday at Olympia post office

The following is from the Olympia Local 2354 of the American Postal Workers Union:

apwu-logoOLYMPIA — The Olympia Local of the American Postal Workers Union, AFL-CIO, will be holding an informational picket at the Olympia Main Post Office (900 Jefferson St.) on Thursday, May 9, 2013 from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. regarding U.S. Postal Service actions to delay mail to the public by closing mail processing plants and reducing service in post offices all across the country. In Washington State, the Postal Service is currently closing the Everett plant and has plans to close the Olympia, Tacoma, and Pasco plants. The closures will cause the delay of mail.

After the informational picket, a free screening of “This is What Democracy Looks Like” will be at 7 p.m. at the Olympia Red Lion Hotel, 2300 Evergreen Park Drive SW, in conjunction with the convention of the Washington APWU. This documentary portrays the story of the protests against the meeting of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Seattle, by labor, fair trade, environmental, and human rights groups.

BACKGROUND — The damaging changes underway at the U.S. Postal Service are a direct result of the lobbying efforts of large corporate mailers who want to increase their profits.  To preserve excessively discounted postage rates for their advertising, the large mailers have relentlessly pushed the Postal Service to cut costs by reducing postal services to the American people. The discounts to the large mailers are such that advertising mail provides only about 25% of the total revenue to the Postal Service despite the fact that it comprises approximately 50% of the total volume of mail. Citizens pay more for their postage and are having their service reduced in order to preserve the low rates for advertisers.

The companies lobbying for the reduction in service to the public are the major banks and financial institutions (Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, American Express, etc.), large media corporations (Time Warner, McClatchy, etc.), and other corporations that stand to directly benefit from the dismantling of the Post Office (FedEx, RR Donnelly, Pitney Bowes, etc.)  These corporations work together through various mail industry associations to increase their leverage in lobbying. The large corporations were behind the 2006 postal legislation that required the Postal Service to pre-fund a Retiree Health Benefits Fund for employees 75 years in advance to be paid within a 10-year period and also placed an inflation-based cap on price increases for postage of most types of mail. This harmful legislation was used to manufacture a false financial “crisis” within the Postal Service.

The union is alerting the public that the reduction in postal services is unnecessary and is calling for the public to pressure the large advertisers, Congress, and the Postal Service to stop the closing of mail processing facilities and post offices, maintain current service standards (overnight delivery for first-class mail), improve staffing of the windows, and offer free or affordable Internet services for the American people. As an important democratic institution that helps create an informed citizenry, the Postal Service should be expanded to meet the needs of the 21st Century.

For more information contact, email Clint Burelson or call him at 360-970-2965.

ALSO at The Stand — Congress broke U.S. Postal Service, and now must fix it

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