Postal Closings Hurt African Americans: Rights Group

A major civil rights organization has denounced the U.S. Postal Service’s plans to consolidate and close postal facilities around the country because they would especially hurt African Americans who have historically constituted the majority of its workforce.

According to the Washington Post, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights (www.civilrights.org), an umbrella organization of more than 30 civil rights and labor groups, is blasting the USPS’s planned closures and consolidations because they would seriously deprive African Americans of perhaps the one place where they could always find jobs and rise up to a middle class life http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/federal_government/major-civil-rights-coalition-opposes-postal-consolidation-hits-officials-appointment/2014/12/04/b9f269a0-7bdd-11e4-84d4-7c896b90abdc_story.html.
Maybe the USPS’s plans all along had a racial element and were not just intended to weaken the postal unions. Maybe postal management was not quite conscious of this aspect.

Either way, cutting postal jobs and weakening unions—which has been already been going on for many years—is likely to continue having a deleterious effect on the African American community.

The coalition’s report notes that African Americans have been delivering mail even as far back as the days of slavery

But Congressional opposition to postal facility closures seems to be growing.

Earlier this month Missouri Senators Republican Roy Blunt and Democrat Claire McCaskill and other Senators from both parties demanded that the USPS table its planned closings in 2015 until it completes feasibility studies and releases more information about its intentions http://www.mccaskill.senate.gov/media-center/news-releases/mccaskill-blunt-to-postal-service-postpone-planned-closings.

This action follows a report from the office of USPS Inspector General that questioned the wisdom and secrecy of the USPS’s planned shuttering of postal distribution locations next year https://uspsoig.gov/sites/default/files/document-library-files/2014/no-ma-15-001.pdf.

Who knows what, if any, effect the Inspector General’s recommendations might have on the postal service’s plans?

Another thing to consider is how the all-Republican Congress will weigh in on the fate of the USPS

Certainly, it’s possible that Rep. Darrel Issa (R-CA) former Chairman of the House Government Reform Committee and longtime foe of postal unions may have disliked the postal unions for their racial makeup, whether or not he was conscious of it.

No matter some other Republican will be heading up the House Government Committee in the upcoming Congress. And you can likely count on more reprehensible House postal “reform” proposals coming our way.

Such potential measures may now even stand a chance of passage in the Senate.

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