Postal Service workers have served their country with pride for generations. Who would approve a business plan that promises to deliver for pennies a simple letter connecting Americans to one another with efficiency? Only workers dedicated to public service could achieve such a lofty and noble goal.
But in recent years the ‘run the government like a business’ forces have dominated the conversation. American corporate leaders have strongly objected to any demand to love and respect the U.S.A. preferring the highest dollar profits over the highest standard of service. Public sector workers only serve their country and the only profit is that which it taken in service by the American people.
Tragically the Republican Party had taken a stand against patriotism and created obstacles to the perception that the United States Postal Service is a success. What cannot be outsourced to other countries must be outsourced to their political donors. In other words the American people be damned when there’s money to be made.
Thomas G. Stemberg, founder of Staples Inc. is an ardent anti-government activist who is affiliated with The Campaign to Fix the Debt, the latest incarnation of a decades-long effort by former Nixon man turned Wall Street billionaire Pete Peterson to slash earned benefit programs such as Social Security and Medicare under the guise of fixing the nation’s “debt problem.” Staples is part of the Campaign to Fix the Debt as of February 2013.
Staples was initially funded in part by Bain Capital with Mitt Romney serving on its corporate board for 15 years. In 2012 Stemberg spoke on the night Mitt Romney accepted the GOP nomination for president. So the individual who wants to privatize social security and other successful government programs to enrich corporate America is a good match for bringing down the public service tradition at the USPS. To the cynical eye this is just a payoff for his long time support for anti-government causes and his long relationship with fellow traveler Mitt Romney.
But Americans are not taking their craven attempt to cash in with a no-bid sweetheart deal to control the nation’s mail. Members of the community along with members of the American Postal Workers Union will protest this brazen corporate takeover Monday, June 2, immediately prior to annual meeting of Staples shareholders in Palo Alto, CA.
In October, the United States Postal Service announced a no-bid sweetheart deal to open postal counters with limited service in more than 80 Staples stores, including several in the Bay Area. Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe has denied that Staples stores would replace any of the nation’s 33,000 traditional Post Offices, but six months into the program, hours are being curtailed at nearby USPS offices.
“Recent actions by the U.S. Postal Service prove what we’ve been saying all along,” said Mark Dimondstein, President of the American Postal Workers Union. “This no-bid deal with Staples is part of a long-term plan to reduce and eventually eliminate service at U.S. Post Offices.” “The U.S. mail is not for sale,” Dimondstein said.
“It should be secured by trained, experienced postal workers – not by low-wage, high turnover employees who are not subject to background checks and who have never taken an oath to protect the mail.” In April, thousands of postal workers and community allies protested the outsourcing of postal jobs and the decline of customer service at 56 Staples stores and Post Offices in 27 states across the country.
“Staples is a company with declining sales, with plans to close more than 200 stores by the middle of next year,” Dimondstein said. “Shareholders need to ask management why they are involved in this kind of controversial deal when they have so many problems to fix in their core business.”