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Postal workers rally against privatization

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CEDAR FALLS — Rain did not keep postal workers from protesting outside Rep. Rod Blum’s Cedar Falls office Monday — a postal holiday.

Mail workers across the nation protested a proposal by the Trump administration to privatize the Postal Service. Around 80 retired and current postal workers and their families took to Main Street chanting, “U.S. Mail, not for sale!”

“We’re out here today because there is a real threat of privatization of the United States Postal Service,” said Tom Kinn, National Association of Letter Carriers branch 512 president and a letter carrier in Waterloo.

Postal workers came out with a nonbinding resolution in July, H.R. 993, opposing the sale of the post office. Unbeknownst to most protesters Monday, Blum signed on as a co-sponsor Friday.

Monday’s rain didn’t deter protesters in Cedar Falls.

“We’re not made of spun sugar. We’re pretty tough,” Kinn said with a laugh.

Herb Copley, president of the Iowa State Chapter of the National Association of Letter Carriers, traveled from Clear Lake for the rally.

“The Trump administration has been talking about privatization possibilities with the post office, and we’re out here to let people know that it is being brought up as an issue, and we don’t think it’s a good idea,” Copley said. “We’re out here on a day off. We’re out here on a federal holiday.”

Trump has called for privatization of the postal service on the White House website.

Privatizing the post office would have a negative impact on the working conditions and wages of postal workers, Kinn said. “We really think it’s just a bad idea for the country.”

He noted the Postal Service is established in the U.S. Constitution.

“Right now we have universal service. We’ll go anywhere, every day, six days a week, often times seven days a week now,” Kinn said. “We deliver to the homeless. Everybody gets the same service right now.”

Privatization threatens that service, he said. “It’s a bipartisan issue.”

“We’ve got all stripes out here, from the furtherest left to the furtherest right,” Kinn said.

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