on Sep 2nd, 2013 in Labor | 4 comments
 

For many Americans, Labor Day marks the end of summer and a day to grill hot dogs or enjoy the pool one last time before it closes for the season. Labor Day’s history is often overlooked. It was started to salute the social and economic achievement of American workers, and to pay tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength and prosperity of the country.

The Labor Department says on its website: “The vital force of labor added materially to the highest standard of living and the greatest production the world has ever known and has brought us closer to the realization of our traditional ideals of economic and political democracy. It is appropriate, therefore, that the nation pay tribute on Labor Day to the creator of so much of the nation's strength, freedom, and leadership — the American worker.”

So we take the opportunity in our annual Labor Day blog to salute all the postal workers who keep the mail moving and ensure the Postal Service fulfills its mission of binding the nation together. We also note the Postal Service is the foundation that supports a larger $1 trillion mailing industry. Keeping the mail moving means another 8.4 million workers are enjoying Labor Day as well. Among the other industries that rely on a healthy Postal Service are the paper and printing industries and their suppliers, direct mail design, fulfillment companies, private delivery services, and mail management departments across all industries.

While the Postal Service is the engine that drives a major industry, it is also often an important part of the local community. The annual Stamp Out Hunger food drive is so effective because of the Postal Service’s presence in every community. Postal workers are often the first people back at work in areas affected by a natural disaster, providing critical deliveries of medicine and checks even when power is out and roads are blocked. Every year, postal employees around the country risk their own safety to save the lives of customers they serve. In 2012, the Postal Service recognized 313 of these employee heroes. The Carrier Alert program relies on the presence and awareness of letter carriers to monitor the well-being of elderly and disabled customers. And so many other deeds go unheralded.

So on this Labor Day we salute not only America’s postal workers, but the American workforce.

Comments

There is a sad irony in this post. While the office of the OIG salutes the Postal Service and somewhat obliquely or perhaps begrudgingly, postal workers, there is a concerted effort afoot to dismantle the postal network that has served America and American communities so well. Part of that effort is a direct and uninhibited drive to reduce the wages and benefits of postal workers, primarily as a means of preserving cheap rates for direct mailers.
Every time someone cites the figures of a $1.3 trillion industry that supports 8 million workers it is most usually followed with attacks on postal workers and the postal infrastructure. The reference has become little more than a dog whistle, a call to hurt workers and labor across this country.
Is it hubris or just bad taste to extoll postal workers and the American workforce while supporting a mindset and mentality that attacks workers, that excludes them from equal enjoyment of the gains and productivity of our economy in favor of rewarding a select elite. Your praise is empty and meaningless in the face of the current situation.
OIG you should be ashamed and as Paul Newman said as Cool Hand Luke, "Calling it your job don't make it right."

Thank you all who push through your hard working efforts so that the rest of us can send and receive vital information at the mailbox!

It is Labor day.There is co-existence of the poor. They are sick for only workers' wage so we are social. Let us end unemployment and work for the poor.

RANX MUHANGUZI.

Another quote from Cool Hand Luke seems appropriate, "What we got here is a failure to communicate." How is it a bad thing that the postal system supports 8 million jobs in this country? I think the blog gets it right. Let's celebrate the American workforce and recognize the importance of an infrastructure that supports millions of jobs. The U.S. Postal Service is not a jobs program nor should it be one. If there isn't enough workload for the current workforce, then adjustments have to be made. The private sector is making similar adjustments. I know many people in print/distribution industries who have been laid off/downsized. Hard copy communications is simply a shrinking business. Do we try to stop growth in digital companies because it is forcing people out of hard copy communication jobs? That would have been like trying to stop the building of the nation's rail system because it was putting stagecoach drivers out of business.

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