Minorities May Be Most Affected by USPS Privatization

Illustration for article titled Minorities May Be Most Affected by USPS Privatization

Since the Bush administration, Republicans in the House turned the privatization and pre-funding or retiree benefits 75 years into the future into a law. Bankrupting the USPS would put half million largely black and female unionized workers out of a job, according to Color of Change.

Writes senior campaign manager Kim Lehmkuhl:

It's critical to note that no other government agency or private corporation has ever faced this onerous of a pre-payment burden, which costs the USPS $5.5 billion a year. It's this huge check they have to write every year that has pushed the post office to the brink of bankruptcy, is why ending Saturday delivery is on the table, is what's threatening jobs, and what's giving House Republicans the excuse to go after dismantling the entire postal system.

Nationwide, 40% of postal workers are women and 20% are black, although in cities like Chicago, black letter carriers can comprise upwards of 75% of the local USPS workforce.15 When the country is still experiencing nearly 8% unemployment - and black unemployment has climbed back up to 14%16 - any deliberate effort to put even more of us out of work is indefensible.


More than 37 million underbanked American households rely on the post office—60% of which are black or Latino. Congress is expected to make its final decision on whether the USPS will cease its Saturday mail delivery tomorrow, and is working on further postal reform.

'Tell Congress: Stop bankrupting the USPS' [Color of Change]
[Jezebel inbox]

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Ginger, get the popcorn!

Okay, devil's advocate here (though really more like "confused-ish person here"), why would privatization of the post office be bad? I think it's absolutely bullshit to mess with pensions that are already set up/being paid out/have already been promised to existing employees, but I don't really think I get the outrage about the rest of it. At the risk of sounding like Ayn Rand, it seems pretty clear that the post office can't compete in the current market, and having it go under isn't going to help employees either. People will still need mail delivered, and we already pay for the post office's services (and to keep the post office operational probably really need to be paying more—the GOP just won't let the USPS raise prices), so what's the issue?

I'd hope the employees would be able to unionize in a private company; I know that they often try to keep that from happening, but lots of private sector employees are unionized, so I guess without knowing that they'd definitely never be allowed to unionize, I don't see why privatization of the post office would be such a bad thing. I never like the idea of people losing their existing jobs, but if the current system clearly isn't working...?

Am I missing something here? Is my privilege showing?