Postal Worker Hunger Strike to Start Monday at Press Conference
Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe has announced that he will then begin closure of half the mail sorting plants in the country and cut hours from 25 to 75 percent in half the nation’s post offices. Forty thousand jobs will be eliminated.
“It’s not necessary. The postal service is not broke,” said Jamie Partridge, a retired letter carrier traveling from Portland, Oregon for the hunger strike. “It’s not the internet, not private competition, not the recession—Congress is starving the U.S. Postal Service.”
The hunger strikers are calling on Donahoe to maintain delivery standards and suspend cuts and closures while allowing Congress to fix the finances by repealing the prefunding mandate and refunding the pension surplus.
“The Postmaster General is sending the service into a death spiral,” said Matt McAuliffe, a mailhandler and hunger striker from Denver. “By slowing the mail, one to two days, the postal service will drive away customers. Those most dependent on the mail, the elderly, the poor and rural communities will be hit the hardest.”
“Corporate interests, working through their friends in Congress, want to undermine the USPS, bust the unions then privatize it,” said Tom Dodge, a hunger striker and postal worker from Baltimore. “We will not stand by as our beloved postal service is destroyed.”
Sympathetic hunger strikes and other local protest actions are being organized in cities nationwide, including Seattle, Olympia, Portland, San Francisco, Chicago, New York and Philadelphia. Hundreds of individuals and groups have endorsed the hunger strike, which has been organized by Communities and Postal Workers United, a national grassroots network.