National Postal Mail Handlers Union Endorses Joe Biden
The National Postal Mail Handlers Union endorsed Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on Wednesday, giving the former vice president his second nod from organizations that defend the collective bargaining rights of United States Postal Service employees.
The National Association of Letter Carriers threw its support behind Biden on August 14.
“We’ve seen attacks against our rights as workers, the service we provide, and the constitutionally protected institution we work for,” NMPHU President Paul Hogronian wrote in a letter to the union’s 45,000 members. “We need a leader who will stand with us. We need Joe Biden.”
Postal workers are facing “direct threats on their livelihood” from President Donald Trump and his administration’s systematic attacks on the USPS, Hogronian said. “We saw a White House Postal Task Force that attacked postal labor, recommended taking away our collective bargaining rights and increasing the cost of our retirement benefits.”
Since the installment of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy in June, the USPS, which has been cash-strapped since Congress in 2006 forced it to fund 75-years worth of retirements, has seen its hours slashed, its locations shuttered, sorting machines removed, collection boxes decommissioned, and service reduced.
DeJoy stands accused of lying to Congress, campaign finance violations, bribing his way into his job, and secretly colluding with the Trump Administration to disrupt the USPS’s capacity to process and deliver parcels.
Additionally, Trump has mounted a personal crusade against mail-in voting a service he has used for decades – and encouraged residents of North Carolina to vote twice, which is a felony. Last week, Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold vowed to file criminal charges against Trump if people her in state attempt to vote twice.
The White House Postal Task Force, meanwhile, has made it its mission to sabotiage the USPS by requiring changes such as “moving away from a six-day delivery; expanding third-party partnership, which could lead to privatization; and, increasing postal rates, pricing customers out of the market,” Hogronian wrote.
The difference between Trump and Biden are stark:
President Trump further attacked the Postal Service in the media, calling it a “joke.” Our union knows how dedicated mail handlers and all postal employees are to their jobs; we take our work seriously. We ensure that every single American household and business receive their mail. We deliver needed medication to the elderly and our veterans. We make sure Social Security and Medicare checks get out on time. We deliver home goods to the house-bound during the pandemic. We keep family and friends connected.
Joe Biden has a history of supporting the United States Postal Service and postal workers and has committed to supporting the dedicated men and women of USPS. As a Senator, he fought against privatization; spoke out on the need for a six-day delivery; and has committed to protecting the universal service obligation, ensuring that every American, regardless if they are in urban, suburban, or rural areas, gets the same quality service. Joe Biden will support putting the Postal Service on a sustainable path forward and will ensure quality service continues.
Biden also believes in a robust labor movement, the endorsement said, “understanding its value to the growth of the middle class with the development of paid-leave, health and retirement benefit provisions, and the 40-hour work week.”
This runs “in contrast to the Trump Administration’s attacks on collective bargaining rights through the use of executive orders,” Hogronian continued. “Joe Biden will be a leader who will support and protect the men and women of labor.”
The letter also praises Biden’s running mate, freshman Senator Kamala Harris, the former California attorney general.
“She’s the co-sponsor of several pieces of legislation protecting USPS from privatization; supporting the organization rights of public sector employees; and aiding the Postal Service through emergency appropriations in response to the coronavirus pandemic,” the Horgronian said.
“We’re facing a turning point in postal history. We need strong leadership that will have our backs,” Hogronian concluded. “I urge every member of NPMHU to support Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, just as they’ll support us.”
The USPS faces a unique challenge in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic. For much of the country, mail-in or absentee voting are the only safe ways to cast a ballot in the November election.
Dozens of the agency’s employees have died and thousands more have been infected by COVID-19, which has taken the lives of 196,000 Americans since March.