Why Everyone Should Care Who the New Postmaster General Is

Postal unions fear that the Trump administration will use the selection of the next postmaster general to initiate its agenda of postal privatization.

The United States Postal Service (USPS) finds itself at a crossroads between the Trump administration’s prescription for privatization and the potential to implement more innovative services. The current postmaster general, Megan J. Brennan, announced her retirement in October 2019, and whoever the Board of Governors appoints to fill the vacancy at the head of America’s oldest and most popular public service will decide which path USPS takes.

The four postal service unions have made it clear that whoever replaces Brennan should commit to not privatizing the USPS. They’ve pressed this point through demonstrations, petitions, and a national advertising campaign called “U.S. Mail: Not for Sale.” The fear has been palpable since the Trump administration published reports in 2018 that recommend varying degrees of privatizing postal services.

“The postmaster general has an awful lot to do with the well-being of the public institution of the United States Postal Service,” said Mark Dimondstein, president of the American Postal Workers Union (APWU), in an interview with the Prospect. “A new PMG cannot decide to sell the post office, but can they set it up to be sold? Can they undermine it? Can they put in policy that would ripen it for privatization? And the answer is yes.”

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