Scapegoating Unions for the Postal Service’s Phony Crisis

Blame it on the unions. When corporations, governments, or public agencies are facing financial challenges, this is often the default explanation.

We saw this knee jerk response at a recent Senate hearing on the U.S. Postal Service. The Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs called the March 12 hearing to discuss recommendations from a task force appointed by President Trump that include cutting or privatizing various postal services, increasing delivery prices, and — you guessed it — eliminating employees’ rights to collective bargaining.

Committee Chair Ron Johnson, a Wisconsin Republican, seized on the anti-union proposals. He repeatedly inquired about the wages and benefits that USPS employees enjoy compared to private sector employees and questioned whether postal workers should be allowed to continue to collectively bargain over wages.

This hardly comes as a surprise. Johnson was an ardent supporter of Governor Scott Walker’s efforts to undercut public sector unions back in his own state. Why wouldn’t he be just as eager to cut union rights for postal employees?

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