On Tuesday, July 26th, on the Postal Service’s 247th birthday, JWJ called for investments in career Postal jobs, as good jobs = great service. Postal workers, and community, united, also called to fulfill the vision of postal unions: that the Postal Service be a vital hub for community services, with delivery powered by union-made electric vehicles!
Rev. David Wheeler of JWJ’s Faith Labor Committee gave a strong opening. It was inviting and humorous, citing real life experience many communities, especially rural, share. The postal service is a hub for public life! Twitter thread.
Video and excerpt below:
Excerpt of Rev. David Wheeler’s speech to Postal Workers.
“Efficiency is having workers who know what they’re doing, have a long tenure on their jobs, and who care about those jobs.”
(Audible “Amen” from the crowd!)
“I’m a Baptist and that’s a dirty word in a lot of places of our culture now, because that’s a word associated with the religious right and reactionary forces. But I’m a Martin Luther King Jr Baptist. I’m a Rep. John Lewis Good Trouble Baptist. I’m a follower of Jesus when he made Good Trouble on Earth, and his most faithful disciples continue to make Good Trouble. He talked about a vein of God that was Shalom and Respect.
When we support Workers Rights, we support the Divine Reign of Shalom. Here’s why that’s important. Sometimes bad ideas, misguided people, just plain bad people seem to have all the power. Sometimes our struggles for justice, for caring, for opportunity, for fairness, seem futile. But as MLK Jr said a long time ago, “the arc of history is long but it bends towards justice. We are not perfect but we are on the right side. I want you, I want us, to be encouraged. I want you to know that in the long run, that one step at a time, one rally at a time, one contract negotiation at a time, one conversation with supervisors at a time. Step by step by step in the long run we are on the right side. Be of good courage. I’m fascinated that this is a birthday celebration. We celebrated the birthday of our poor, fractured, threatened, union called the United States of America 246th birthday just a few weeks ago. but the USPS, going all the way back to the initiative of Benjamin Franklin is 247 years old. And from what I understand, 247 years later, Benjamin Franklin is going to put in an appearance today. Man am I stoked about that. But these things can happen. Once at First Baptist church downtown, we had a live debate between Martin Luther and the Pope. So I know these things can happen. What do we look for in a US Postal Service? Yes we look for efficiencies if they’re fair. Yes we look for good equipment and we want to keep it and enhance it rather than mothball it. Yes we want good transportation. We want American made electric vehicles instead of gas guzzlers. We look for efficiencies, we aren’t immune to business sense. But first and last and foremost, the United States Postal Service is Service. My parents grew up in a couple small towns in KY 8 miles apart. The post office was the hub of the community. We know that’s still the case in places in rural Oregon, but it could be so much more. Not only a place to meet. A place to pick up your mail. A place to do your banking. A place to access social services. These initiatives which are part of what the postal unions want are further steps toward the Shalom of God. I grew up in a city, Kentucky, Louisville. My neighborhood post office is a place where folks met. It was a service to the community and that is what we want, .And in the long run, step by step by step, we are on the right side. And we shall prevail. Thank you very much God Bless You all!”