Greetings Fellow Workers,
On behalf of our Union, the Richmond, Virginia General Membership Branch of the Industrial Workers of the World stand in solidarity with the United States Postal Workers Union and its effort to preserve the peoples post office from further privatization.
In 1967 U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson appointed a Commission on Postal Reorganization, chaired by AT&T’s Frederick R. Kappel, to “determine whether the postal system as presently organized is capable of meeting the demands of our growing economy and our expanding population.” In June 1968, the Commission found that it was not.
This finding, although hardly a surprise, and considering that six of the nine members of the commission were capitalists who were also heads of major corporations, would be a major blow to one of the oldest public service institutions in the U.S. The commission ultimately decided against privatizing the postal service, but made several recommendations that would leave open the possibility for future privatization. Regardless of opposition from union leaders, in 1968, U.S. President Richard M. Nixon supported the commission’s recommendations, and the U.S. Post Office became a self-supporting government corporation under an increasingly capitalist driven U.S. Congress.
Presently the Post Master General and members of the U.S. Congress have decided to undermine organized public employee’s in favor of private contracts. Contracts which offer substandard wages, few if any benefits, and with it the further corrosion of the working class. The U.S. Postal Service should not have to compete with private enterprise, and it makes even less sense that it call on private enterprise to carry out its services. We believe the resources are available to U.S. Postal Workers, rather than subscribe to further reform or a tax payer bail out, we recognize that allowing the Postal Service to use the billions of dollars in USPS pension over-payment, the U.S. Postal Service can more than meet its financial obligations.
The Richmond, Virginia Industrial Workers of the World will support, within our ability, the will of our fellow workers of the United States Post Service in preserving this public institution for future generations.
Richmond General Membership Branch of the Industrial Workers of the World
[download][ .PDF of Solidarity Letter to Postal Workers Union]