PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Postal workers and their supporters gathered Tuesday afternoon for a rally in Downtown Pittsburgh, hoping to send the White House a message.
More than 1,000 postal workers turned out outside the David L. Lawrence Convention Center to protest possible plans by the Trump administration to sell off, or privatize, the U.S. Postal Service.
“This is one of the most electrifying crowds I’ve been in front of in my entire career,” said Summer Lee, a Democratic candidate for the state House of Representatives.
The concern is a presidential task force which could recommend selling the government mail service to private companies. The idea brought sharp opposition from Congressman Conor Lamb.
“In thousands of conversations this year, I have not had one single person tell me that they think we need to lose the Postal Service,” said Rep. Lamb. “The Postal Service is the most popular agency in the United States government, bar none.”
Rep. Lamb told the crowd that privatization comes from a small group of wealthy individuals.
“This is all due to a decision by a small number of extremely wealthy people who are acting to serve their own interests, not ours,” he said.
Postal workers say the public needs to be aware of what’s going on behind their backs.
“Be very aware that there is a plan from the Office of Management and Budget, which is the White House, an actual plan to sell the Postal Service off to corporations,” said Mark Dimondstein, the president of the American Postal Workers Union.
Dimondstein says the consequences of that would be disastrous for residents who count on the mail.
“Less service, higher prices, in some areas maybe no service,” he said, “and for our workers, which also affect our communities, it would be lower wages and less rights. So the public good will be turned over to private profit and decisions on who gets mail, who doesn’t get mail, when they get it and how much it costs will be based on who can make a profit.”
Whatever the final recommendation from the Trump administration, nothing can change without the approval of Congress.