In a statement, American Postal Workers Union (APWU) President Mark Dimondstein slammed President Donald Trump and his administration in response to a Washington Post report that the president is using the coronavirus pandemic to cripple the United States Postal Service (USPS).
“It’s a power grab to destroy the public Postal Service,” Dimondstein said. “The Post’s reporting confirms what our union has long known: This Administration is committed to fulfilling the decades-long pursuit by some to sacrifice our public Postal Service at the altar of private profit.”
“Postal workers provide an absolutely essential service to everyone in the country – no matter how rich or poor we are or where we live. During this pandemic, postal workers have continued to bind the nation together and deliver essential medicine, supplies and information to a public that is confined to their homes,” he continued. “At a time when the country needs us now more than ever, Mnuchin and his Wall Street cronies are attempting to exploit the crisis to raise prices, demonize heroic postal workers and cut service, all so private delivery companies can profit. It’s a power grab. Shame on them.”
The Post report revealed that the Treasury Department is considering leveraging emergency coronavirus relief loan to control USPS. The report notes that officials who work for Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told USPS officials “that he could use the loan as leverage to give the administration influence over how much the agency charges for delivering packages and how it manages its finances, according to the two people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the talks are preliminary.”
President Trump himself has often accused the postal service of mismanagement. He has also said as recently as this month said that online retailers have contributed to “the demise of the Postal Service.”
“This is the new one. I’m the demise of the Postal Service,” Trump said on April 7. “I’ll tell you who’s the demise of the Postal Service, are these internet companies that give their stuff to the Postal Service.”
“They drop everything in the post office and they say, ‘You deliver it.’ And if they’d raise the prices by, actually, a lot, then you’d find out that the post office could make money or break even, but they don’t do that, and I’m trying to figure out why,” he said.
Alan is a writer, editor, and news junkie based in New York.