SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – Mail carriers across the country and here in northeastern Pennsylvania took to the streets Monday to fight back against possible privatization.
Earlier this year, President Donald Trump created a task force to look at reforming the U.S. Postal Service and workers worry the results could hurt employees and businesses.
President Trump convened the task force back in April.
Its work is believed to be complete but the results have not yet been released. It is expected that the recommendations could be made before the end of the year.
Chanting the “U.S. Mail is not for sale,” mail carriers walked around the 200-block of Wyoming Avenue in downtown Scranton Monday morning.
They’re going on offense, fighting the possible idea of privatizing the U.S. Postal Service.
“Wages and benefits are the first things that are going to be cut,” Bob Glycenfer, branch president with the Scranton Mail Handlers Union said.
In a reorganizational report in June, the Trump administration first said it was looking at privatization plans but nothing concrete has officially been proposed.
“If it becomes privatized you might not be able to pay 50 cents to send something across the country,” Walter Sanko, president of Letter Carriers Branch 17 in Scranton said.
Besides increased prices, union members say daily mail service in rural areas could also be in jeopardy.
“Anybody who lives north and east of Clarks Summit or south and west of Pittston stands to take a terrible beating,” Kevin Gallagher, Vice President of the Pennsylvania Postal Workers Union said.
The president believes companies like Amazon are costing the postal service money to ship packages.
With a drop in people writing letters, mail carriers say its those package deliveries keeping them afloat.
“We did a national test with Amazon to see if we could do same day delivery and we did it with flying colors so they’ve expanded nationally with us. It’s worth hundred-of-millions of dollars. We’re doing it for all different companies all over the country,” Gallagher said.
Postal worker rallies like the one held Monday in Lackawanna County took place all across the country.
Both the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate have resolutions on the table calling on Congress to oppose postal privatization.