Over four long days, postal workers are taking a courageous and difficult stand by going on a hunger strike. This fast, from June 24-28, in coordination with hundreds of protesting postal workers and community members, is against the proposed cuts to the public service so many of us depend on. Community and Postal Workers United is organizing mass actions in Washington, D.C., targeting the postal head office at L'Enfant Plaza on June 28. This comes alongside a call for local actions across the country, in cities and towns, big and small; together we can make a stand to protect and defend this American institution, the United States Postal Service.
These bold tactics are being used by our brothers and sisters to counter the severity of what is on the table. Nearly half - 229 of 461 - of mail processing plants are slated to shut down or be consolidated. Hours for over 13,000 small post offices will be drastically cut. These cuts are scheduled to go into effect July 1. All of this comes in the aftermath of the 2006 Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, forcing the USPS to prefund retiree pensions, costing the service billions. No other federal agency has to prefund retirement benefits in this way. The propaganda used to justify these plans is the inefficiency of the USPS in our high-tech, fast-paced world. We must see this for what it really is: an attempt to systematically privatize the mail service industry.
These plans will cost hundreds of well paid union jobs, deeply hurt our communities, and ultimately make sending mail more costly for the working class. The issue is not a lack of money, as big business and their government proxies continue to fund wars abroad and give billions to banks and corporations. We must demand for these proposals to be removed, to fully fund the USPS, including retiree benefits, and to do so by taxing the 1%.
Socialist Alternative proudly endorses and stands in solidarity with our brothers and sisters putting their health and livelihood on the line. No one should be forced to take such measures to defend their jobs and communities, but when they push too far we must take action. In order to prevent these job cuts and the slashing of services, we must build mass pressure from below. For now, we must stand together in defense of what we have already gained through previous struggles. To truly change the situation requires us to come together into a mass workers’ organization; showing where our real power arises from: we are the 99%, we are the majority.
For more information about local actions planned by Community and Postal Workers United check out their website: http://cpwunited.com/home.
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