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Wed Jun 27, 2012, 06:58 PM

U.S. Postal Workers On Hunger Strike June 27, 2012

Source: Addicting Information

Extreme times require extreme measures. In the United States, hunger strikes are rarely seen, but Post Office employees have about had it with measures passed by Congress that are slowly starving the United States Postal Service. On Monday, ten current and retired workers began a four-day hunger strike that will end on Thursday in front of the postal service headquarters. There, they hope to meet with Postmaster General Patrick Donohoe.

The motivation for the hunger strike can be found in the National Call to Action put out by the Community and Postal Workers United organization. The call makes it evident just how outrageous the treatment of the USPS has been. It says, “America’s Postal Service is being starved to death. A 2006 Congressional mandate forces the USPS to pre-fund retiree health benefits 75 years in advance. 10% of the postal budget, $5.5 billion per year, goes to pre-fund benefits for people who aren’t even born yet. Not only would the postal service have been profitable without the mandate, the USPS has also over paid tens of billions into two pension funds.”

These outrageous demands, unheard of in any other sector, are an obvious effort by Congress to eliminate a public service in order to privatize mail delivery. The Postmaster General is cooperating by proposing cuts in services, the closure of postal facilities, and the elimination of thousands of jobs. The workers are trying to highlight these appalling actions to the public by shaming Congress and denouncing the Postmaster General’s initiatives. They want the pre-fund mandate lifted and the over-payments to pension funds refunded.

Will the hunger strike work? Eighty years ago, it worked for Mahatma Gandhi, who undertook a “fast unto death” for six days, in order to stand up to British colonialists on behalf of the “untouchables”—the lowest class in India’s once-rigid caste system. Over a 16-year period, Gandhi continued to use fasts as a primary means of civil disobedience, aware that the concern of the public for his well-being would force the British government to make concessions. More than concessions, Gandhi’s actions contributed to the independence of India.

Read more: http://www.addictinginfo.org/2012/06/27/u-s-postal-workers-on-hunger-strike/

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Reply U.S. Postal Workers On Hunger Strike June 27, 2012 (Original post)
midnight Jun 2012 OP
RufusTFirefly Jun 2012 #1
Slit Skirt Jun 2012 #2
midnight Jun 2012 #5
midnight Jun 2012 #4
RufusTFirefly Jun 2012 #7
99th_Monkey Jun 2012 #3
midnight Jun 2012 #6
RufusTFirefly Jun 2012 #8
midnight Jun 2012 #9
SunSeeker Jun 2012 #10

Response to midnight (Original post)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 07:16 PM

1. The hunger strike actually started on June 25.

At least according to the Community & Postal Workers United site.

Of course, it's been leading the corporate news every night since it started.

Not.

(I tried to endorse the strike but couldn't. I guess that's why.)

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Response to RufusTFirefly (Reply #1)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 07:29 PM

2. One of my fellow activists is participating

very proud of him!

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Response to Slit Skirt (Reply #2)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 08:35 PM

5. I'm too, because he knows.....

"There can be no peace so long as hunger and want are found among millions of working people and the few, who make up the employing class, have all the good things in life." Mother Jones...

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Response to RufusTFirefly (Reply #1)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 08:32 PM

4. I'm not clear on why you don't endorse the strike?

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Response to midnight (Reply #4)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 09:23 PM

7. I DO endorse the strike, but the link on the Web site won't let me add my name

Telling the few people reading this thread that I endorse the strike only does so much good.

When I tried to register my endorsement, the message said: Registration is closed for this event.

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Response to midnight (Original post)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 07:53 PM

3. God bless our postal workers. May they prevail. ~nt

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Response to midnight (Original post)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 09:14 PM

6. The post office was mandated by the U.S. constitution as a service vital to democracy!

Mandated by the US constitution as a service vital to democracy, the post office has fallen victim to structural adjustment as well as to electronic communication. Congress has successively demanded that the US Postal Service run itself more like a business since making it a quasi-corporation in 1971. Required to provide universal service, even as the internet and private carriers cut into its profit centres, the USPS has spun into a death spiral, raising its rates as it slashes employment and service. It's now stripping its assets, as well.

Since January, the US Postal Service has closed 280 post offices, despite community resistance and the objections of local business people horrified to watch downtown magnets decamp for peripheral strip malls and trailers. Those closures were only a warmup for what was coming. On 26 July, Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe listed nearly 3,700 more, saying "The Postal Service of the future will be smaller, leaner, and more competitive." Those facilities constitute well over a tenth of the nation's post offices, buildings that once physically embodied government honesty, efficiency and even culture. Perhaps, that is why they must go.

The distinguished Modesto building, like many other New Deal post offices, has earned a place on the National Register of Historic Places, but a buyer could still demolish it to utilise the real estate beneath it. In that case, law requires the developer to donate its murals to the federal government. But as Congress and the White House hack ever deeper into the services that Americans until recently took for granted, no one may be at home in Washington to find lodging for such art other than that for which it was made.

New Deal critic Amity Shlaes has claimed that "It's not really the government's business, art, is it?" Roosevelt shared with other New Dealers a considerably more expansive notion of what the US could achieve. He forecast that "one hundred years from now, my administration will be known for its art, not for its relief." The New Dealers envisioned a new Renaissance. Its successors are knocking that legacy down to the highest bidder, and with it goes what we once were and might yet be.http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2011/aug/02/us-post-office-new-deal

So why would Congress want to run our Post Office like a business?


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Response to midnight (Reply #6)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 09:31 PM

8. Yes, but the Constitution also says that only Congress can declare war

Meanwhile, we've got a Constitutional scholar as president who's ordering extra-judicial drone attacks and keeping people incarcerated without charge or trial.

In short, the Constitution don't get no respect.

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Response to RufusTFirefly (Reply #8)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 10:53 PM

9. Good point-I suppose this is the country we get when we abandon our laws.

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Response to midnight (Original post)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 11:38 PM

10. K&R

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