The strike — which includes 10 postal workers, union activists and supporters, but not Kucinich himself — is the latest in a long saga of efforts to reform the postal service as it faces a dim financial future.
While lawmakers generally agree that postal reform is necessary, they disagree on the specifics.
“Make no mistake about it, this is an effort to try to privatize even more postal services,” Kucinich said in reference to GOP efforts.
The strikers focused on a requirement they say mandates that the postal service pre-fund retiree health benefits 75 years in advance, drawing scarce revenues the postal service needs to evolve.
“The postal service has adapted to the change in the volume of mail,” said Jamie Partridge, a national coordinator of Communities and Postal Workers United. “That’s not what’s killing the postal service. Not the Internet. Not private competition. Not even the recession. It’s this prefunded mandate.”
Kucinich argued that Republicans, by seeking to dismantle the postal service, compromise its effectiveness. That in turn allows conservative critics to point to it as an example of government waste and ineffectiveness, Kucinich said.