BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - While post offices were closed for Columbus Day, postal service employees chose to use their off day to make their voices heard.
Postal workers on the Coast joined a nationwide rally against President Trump’s plan to privatize the U.S. Postal Service.
Those who took part in the Columbus Day demonstration represented the National Association of Letter Carriers, American Postal Workers Union, National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association, and the National Postal Mailhandler Union.
Participants carried posters along Popps Ferry Road in Biloxi, chanting, “U.S. mail is not for sale." The slogan served as an outcry for state representatives to oppose the president’s proposal and maintain the public nature of the Postal Service.
In June 2018, the White House brought forward the idea of privatizing the Postal Service in a 132-page report to overhaul multiple governmental agencies. In the report, The Trump Administration argues that the USPS has faced major financial struggles for years, offering privatization as a solution.
Many are concerned that the president’s proposal will bring job cuts, lower quality service and access for those who live and work in rural areas.
“Rural Mississippi is spread all out. So, when you might have a thousand to one box in a big city, here you might have to drive a mile, a mile and a half between mailboxes. Therefore, you can’t make a profit,” explained George Collins, President of the Gulf Coast APWU.
If the plan goes through private companies can pick and choose what areas to serve based on where they will make a profit. Organizers believe the plan goes against USPS 's standing policy to provide universal service to all Americans.
“If we’re having to do this in the private sector, they’re going to have to charge more for that. The postal service now as mandated by congress, everybody pays the same rate," said Collins.
The U.S. Postal Service employs more than 7.5 million people across the country.