Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has landed another key union endorsement, this time from the American Postal Workers Union. The leader of the 200,000 strong labor group, president Mark Dimondstein, called him a “true champion” for worker’s rights and declared that “politics as usual has not worked. It’s time for a political revolution.”
Dimondstein lauded the populist for his defense of one of our nation’s oldest public institutions: “We should judge candidates not by their political party, not by what they say, not by what they think they stand for, but by what they do. Applying that criterion, Sen. Bernie Sanders stands above all others as a true champion of postal workers and other workers throughout the country. He doesn’t just talk the talk. He walks the walk. He is a leader in the fight to protect the public Postal Service.”
The postal service has been hemorrhaging money for years, due to brutal spending cuts and unique funding mandates imposed by austerity-minded Republicans. While its financial performance has been improving (only a $586 million deficit as opposed to $2 billion the year before), Republicans are still determined in their efforts to privatize it and turn it to a for-profit entity.
Bernie Sanders, on the other hand, has been a huge proponent for postal service reform, wanting to allow post offices to handle minor financial transactions and give Americans other options for small loans other than predatory pay-day lending agencies. The Postal Service is one of our nation’s oldest institutions, tracing its roots back to the Second Continental Congress in 1775. It’s vitally important that we properly fund it, as it is still a vital service that we take for granted at this point. This endorsement for Sanders is a huge victory in his race to win the labor vote from Hillary Clinton, and another significant milestone in his road to the Democratic nomination.
Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.