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Postal workers
join protest

Rochester postal workers say they will join postal-union colleagues nationwide in picketing the U.S. Postal Service Monday.
The action–falling on the 26th anniversary of a 1970 national postal strike–protests Postmaster General Marvin Runyon’s plans to privatize the USPS.
Members of the American Postal Workers Union Local 215, Branch 210 of the National Association of Letter Carriers and the National Postal Mailhandlers Union Local 309 plan a 5 p.m.

Postal workers
join protest

Rochester postal workers say they will join postal-union colleagues nationwide in picketing the U.S. Postal Service Monday.
The action–falling on the 26th anniversary of a 1970 national postal strike–protests Postmaster General Marvin Runyon’s plans to privatize the USPS.
Members of the American Postal Workers Union Local 215, Branch 210 of the National Association of Letter Carriers and the National Postal Mailhandlers Union Local 309 plan a 5 p.m. rally at the USPS’s Jefferson Road General Mail Facility.
Once known as the U.S. Post Office, the USPS has been a quasi-private agency since 1970 when Congress took away its tax funding and directed it to operate on a break-even basis.
On the table in Runyon’s current efforts to further privatize the U.S. mails are proposals ranging from outsourcing postal work to selling chunks of the USPS off to a variety of private operators.
Postal workers believe a private operator would close USPS branches in poor neighborhoods and rural areas, reduce services and raise prices, said James Bertalone, president of APWU Local 215, The unionized mail handlers and letter carriers also fear they would be hit with massive layoffs, he added.
Runyon already is outsourcing an increasing number of USPS jobs, he said. A priority mail center that was supposed to have come to Rochester last year was canceled after the work it would have handled was farmed out to private contractors, for example.
Unionized postal workers signed a national contract with the USPS last year. The pact runs until 1998. While any private operator who bought all or part of the agency before then would have to honor the contract, it could lay off workers, Bertalone said.

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