UPDATE (June 23, 2020) — Watch the Save the Post Office petition delivery caravan that happened today in Washington, D.C.
Participants will urge Congress to save Postal Service from financial collapse
SEATTLE — Postal union members and community supporters will stage a car and bike caravan from Seattle’s Queen Anne Post Office to the Federal Building on Tuesday, June 23, to publicize the need for federal funds to save the U.S. Postal Service from financial collapse due to revenue loss from the COVID-19 pandemic. The event is one of a dozen local actions in support of the June 23 delivery of a petition with 2 million #SavethePostOffice signatures by a car caravan in Washington D.C., organized by the American Postal Workers Union (APWU), AFL-CIO, MoveOn.org, and allied organizations.
TAKE A STAND — At 9 a.m., cars will assemble Tuesday at the Queen Anne Post Office, 415 1st Ave N. in Seattle, and bikes will assemble at 2nd Avenue and Broad Street (behind the Labor Temple) and follow the 2nd Avenue dedicated bike lane. The car caravan is expected to leave the Queen Anne Post Office at about 9:15 a.m., joining with bikes at Second Avenue and proceeding directly to the Federal Building at 2nd Ave. and Madison St., arriving shortly after 9:30 a.m. All union members and community supporters are invited and encouraged to participate. RSVP or get details at this Facebook event page.
A new Harris Poll rated the Postal Service as #1 in a list of Essential Companies during the pandemic. However, direct postal funding in the CARES Act stimulus bill was blocked by threats from the Trump administration, and a $10 billion loan was substituted. Outgoing Postmaster General Megan Brennan has stated that the USPS could run out of cash by Sept. 30. Senate consideration of postal funding in the HEROES Act is expected to begin after the July 4 weekend.
At a time when Black Lives Matter has raised issues of racial social and economic disparities, the Postal Service continues to be a major source of decent-paying jobs in Black communities. Pew Research reports that 23% of the 630,000 postal employees are black workers, who by contrast are 13% of the American workforce.
The Trump administration has issued reports encouraging postal privatization. President Trump has been open about his dislike of voting by mail, even during a pandemic. And Trump has also called for drastic increases in postal package rates, in the mistaken belief that this would harm Amazon, whose CEO also owns the Washington Post, a newspaper deemed critical of the president. A major Trump campaign donor, Louis Dejoy, was appointed as the new Postmaster General, effective June 16.
For more information, see Mail carriers are essential — and so is a bailout of the Postal Service, a guest column in the Seattle Times by Tuesday’s caravan organizer David Yao, a 34-year postal worker and Vice President of the Seattle local of the American Postal Workers Union.