By Carlotta Mohamed
U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Flushing) and postal workers from across Queens joined forces Tuesday to protest President Donald Trump’s proposal to privatize the United States Postal Service.
In front of her Flushing office — located at 40-13 159th St. Suite A — Meng was joined by local members of the nation’s postal unions, including the National Association of Letter Carriers, American Postal Workers Union, and National Postal Mail Handlers Union.
The presidents of the local unions and other union officials were also in attendance.
The gathering was part of similar events that took place Oct. 8 in Congressional districts throughout the country, when postal employees joined members of Congress to stand against privatizing the U.S. mail. Events were held in front of Congressional offices nationwide and in some cases, outside post offices.
“Selling the U.S. Postal Service to private corporations would be disastrous for our country, and we are here tell the president loud and clear, and in the strongest possible terms, that the U.S. mail is not for sale,” said Meng. “The American people and small businesses rely heavily on the postal service and if the agency is privatized, we all stand to be socked with higher delivery costs and a reduction of service, particularity in areas where it’s not profitable for private companies to make deliveries.”
Meng added that privatization may also put the jobs of hardworking postal employees on the chopping block.
“It’s clear what we must do. We must take this privatization plan, stamp return to sender on it, and make sure it goes straight back to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.,” said Meng.
In April, President Trump issued an executive order that established a task force to look into the postal service’s operations and finances. But before the task force came to any conclusions, his administration put forward a proposal to eventually privatize the agency. The proposal was part of “Delivering Government Solutions in the 21st Century,” a government reorganization plan that was released in June.
“The U.S. Postal Service is a service to the American people, contained in the Constitution of the United States,” said George Mangold, president of the New York State Association of Letter Carriers. “It was never meant to be a money making business. Privatization would destroy that service. The U.S. Mail is Not for Sale.”
Meng is a co-sponsor of a resolution, H. Res. 993, introduced in the House in July, calling for the Postal Service to not be privatized.
The resolution is a bipartisan measure urging Congress to “take all appropriate measures to ensure that the U.S. Postal Service remains an independent establishment of the federal government and is not subject to privatization.”
The resolution is pending before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and presently has 223 co-sponsors. A similar bipartisan measure in the Senate, S. Res. 633, was introduced in September. It has 42 co-sponsors and has been referred to the Senate’s Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.
Reach reporter Carlotta Mohamed by e-mail at cmoha