The Postal Service’s largest union has harsh words for Rep. Darrell Issa, and is raising alarm over a pilot partnership with Staples, which it warns is a stalking horse for privatization – a goal the union alleges draws support or indifference from key Democrats.
“I think Congress and the White House are pretty much working hand in hand,” American Postal Workers Union president Mark Dimondstein told Salon prior to Tuesday demonstrations outside Staples stores in San Francisco and San Jose, the first of what he said would be an escalating wave of protests. “There hasn’t been a fight to defend the public good, and there hasn’t been a real fight around good jobs.”
While slamming Democrats, Dimondstein reserved special condemnation for Issa, the Republicans’ leading voice on postal reform. Noting that Issa had proposed eliminating Saturday postal service as part of a bill undoing veterans’ pension cuts, the union president called the congressman “a pure enemy of the Postal Service,” and his proposal “cynical and diabolical.” Asked about such criticism, an Issa spokesperson emailed, “This false claim about privatization is being pushed by entrenched special interests who oppose common sense and bipartisan reforms in both House and Senate postal modernization bills.” APWU also warns that legislation offered by Issa, easing the closing of post offices if services are being offered nearby – at least as originally proposed – could have severe consequences if USPS’ Staples pilot program spreads.
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