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Report Back: Rally to save the postal service celebrates Postal Heritage Day

Dozens of postal workers, retirees, and community allies turned out this
afternoon to celebrate the 241st birthday of the US Post Office. Postal
unions have called on President Obama to declare July 26th Postal Heritage
Immediate Release

July 26, 2016

Rally to save the postal service celebrates Postal Heritage Day

Chanting, marching through the Main Post Office in downtown Portland,
singing and eating birthday cake, the crowd listened to postal defenders,
including Benjamin Franklin, the first postmaster general in 1775.

Franklin, looking none the worse for his years, was apparently rolling in
his grave, itching to bring a revolutionary message to today's postal

"We need another revolutionary Postmaster General who will fight for the
United States Postal Service, against the tyranny of the privatizers,
against the oppression of the union busters. We need revolutionary postal
workers who will spread the alarm to every corner of this nation. We need
a revolutionary Congress that will fight the tyranny of the 1%, that will
fight the oppression of the corporate profiteers," proclaimed Franklin (aka
Ben Poe).

"The postal service is under assault. Over 200,000 good union jobs have
been lost in the past ten years as post offices and mail processing plants
have been cut and closed. Mail is being delayed. At-the-door delivery is
on the chopping block.

"The postal service is not broke, but the agenda of the 1% and their
friends in Congress is to cripple the USPS, to soften it up for union
busting and privatization. The USPS is a $67 billion annual business with
over $100 billion surplus in its pension and retiree health benefit funds,
over 30,000 post offices and 200,000 vehicles. We're facing a huge
transfer of public wealth to Wall Street investors," said the elder

Reverend John Schwiebert, speaking on behalf of Portland Communities and
Postal Workers United, expressed concern about the demolition of Portland's
Main Post Office. "The Main Post Office in downtown Portland will be
replaced, either at its current location or close by.

"Today's Main Post Office provides early opening and late closing, 24-hour
access to thousands of post office boxes and scores of parcel lockers,
general delivery for travelers and the homeless, passport application,
dozens of parking places, Caller Service and Firm Hold-out,
acceptance/payment/accounting for Business Reply and Bulk Mailing, after
hours mailing machine, stamp vending, mail drops inside and outside, rest
rooms, drinking fountain, snack bar, bike rack, exterior seating, shade,
and trees.

"Business and community customers need the same or improved service

"We need postal officials, the City of Portland and members of Congress to
hold immediate public hearings to hear from postal customers," said

Recent small victories in the struggle to save the postal service have
included a moratorium on "consolidations" and plant closures until April
2017, a one-year deferral of outsourcing of post offices to "contract"
stations and "Village Post Offices", and a moratorium on the outsourcing of

Portland Communities and Postal Workers United is part of a national
network (Communities and Postal Workers United) to defend and enhance the
US Postal Service.

Portland Communities and Postal Workers United,
contact: Jamie Partridge


(photos by Jamie Partridge)