Postal Labor Group Endorses Sanders for President

Predictably, the American Postal Workers Union, the largest such labor group, has endorsed Bernie Sanders for President http://www.apwu.org/news/news-bulletin/executive-board-endorses-bernie-sanders-president.

One could attribute this to the Vermont Senator’s consistent advocacy for the cause of a strong governmental (or quasi-governmental) institution dedicated to serving the people as opposed to corporate interests.

As an example, Sanders sent a letter earlier this year to Postmaster General Megan Brennan specifically opposing the USPS’s reduction of delivery standards and the annual $5 billion-plus payment it must make to cover the healthcare costs of future retirees http://www.sanders.senate.gov/newsroom/press-releases/sanders-sends-letter-to-postmaster-general.

Some could dismiss the APWU’s endorsement as just simple Democratic Party politics and poo poo it as ineffective in the next election cycle as much larger unions like the United Auto Workers and National Education Association have endorsed Hillary Clinton, according to the Nation http://www.thenation.com/article/postal-workers-endorse-austerity-foe-bernie-sanders/?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign.

Truly the union’s endorsement may be nothing more than symbolism in a race that at least so far seems dominated by big money candidates from both the Democratic and Republican parties with grander agendas than postal reform.

One issue that could raise the profile of postal reform next year is that of having the USPS provide banking services for poorer people. Commercial banks tend to shun these people who are forced to rely on such predators as payday lenders.
Last year, the Office of the USPS Inspector General proposed that the postal service establish a financial services operation to meet the needs of these populations https://ww according to nj.com http://www.nj.com/opinion/index.ssf/2015/11/postal_banking_would_defeat_predatory_lending_for.html.

One likely obstacle to the postal service developing banking services is the impending nomination of Mickey Barnett to the USPS Board of Governors. Barnett is a lobbyist for the payday loan industry.

For what it’s worth Sanders has reportedly has led opposition to Barnett’s appointment.
Nevertheless, calls are rising for the USPS to jump into this game according to nj.com http://www.nj.com/opinion/index.ssf/2015/11/postal_banking_would_defeat_predatory_lending_for.html.
And Social Security Works (www.socialsecurityworks.org), an advocacy organization, is also calling on the USPS to establish banking services.

“Postal banking is an affordable, nonprofit, consumer-driven financial service for all U.S. residents including seniors living on fixed incomes, people with disabilities, veterans, and people living in rural areas.

But Sanders may not totally squeaky clean on using the Postal Service over corporate carriers when it comes to shipping campaign merchandise, according to the Postal Reporter http://www.postal-reporter.com/blog/postal-retiree-hillary-ships-only-usps-and-bernie-offers-ups-option-for-online-campaign-merchandise/.

Maybe this is true but this smacks of nitpicking when much larger and more important issues are at stake.

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