Democratic Presidential Hopefuls Agree on Postal Issues in Union’s Questionnaire

WASHINGTON— Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Sen. Bernie Sanders, Ind.-Vt., and former Gov. Martin O’Malley, D-Md. agreed on postal-related issues in their answers to the Letter Carriers’ questionnaire. They were the only 2016 Presidential candidates to fill out the questionnaire.

The union published the results in the November Postal Record. The responses, plus results of returned postcards, a scientific opinion survey of NALC members and an NALC executive council discussion of the questionnaire, and candidates’ “electability, experience and relationship with the union” will determine its endorsement, President Fredric Rolando said.

NALC’s endorsement is important, since it is one of the few unions with members in every U.S. congressional district, plus all U.S. territories. And postal customers hold their individual Letter Carriers in high regard.

Clinton, Sanders and O’Malley:

• Agreed on a number of overall goals if elected president, including campaign finance reform, paid family and medical leave, affordable child care and similar improvements to workers’ lives, raising wages and enacting comprehensive immigration reform.

• Clinton was the only one who specifically mentioned labor law reform. “Through all of this, we need to strengthen the ability of unions to organize and collectively bargain,” she said. After more detail, she concluded: “When workers have a voice on the job, we are all better off.”

• Sanders took the lead on expanding and strengthening the Postal Service. Among his top presidential goals would be “a movement that will expand, not cut, the Postal Service” by finding it new markets while ending the $5.6 billion yearly health-care pre-funding mandate that has driven it into the red. He’s been the lead Senate sponsor of that legislation.

• Clinton mentioned co-sponsoring legislation, while a New York U.S. senator, to ban the Postal Service from contracting out Letter Carrier work to private firms. The former postmaster general, as part of his schemes to cut costs and union jobs, contracted out postal services to low-paid, non-union, exploited workers at Staples stores.

• All three favored eliminating the $5.6 billion annual 10-year health care pre-funding mandate. A Republican-run Congress and president – George W. Bush – imposed it on the USPS. That dumped the Postal Service into the red, Sanders said. He called it “a poison pill that is bleeding the Postal Service to death.” All three support keeping six-day mail delivery, and door-to-door delivery for all customers. The postmaster general wanted to kill both.

• Clinton and Sanders oppose plans to privatize part or all of the USPS, but Clinton extended that opposition to all “inherently governmental” work, “including letter delivery services, school services and state and local government services.”

Source: PAI