The USPS Teams Up With Staples: Taking Good Union Jobs And Turing Them Into Part-Time, Low Wage Jobs

Image by Nicholas Eckhart Flikr
Image by Nicholas Eckhart Flikr

Image by Nicholas Eckhart Flikr

The US MAIL IS NOT FOR SALE. The manufactured crisis that is being used to destroy the postal service is taking a new turn this spring. As ongoing efforts to eliminate Saturday mail delivery have come to a standstill in our deadlocked Congress. The USPS is moving forward with a plan to place postal counters, without postal employees in 8o Staples stores. In time they want to expand this misguided plan to over 1500 stores nationwide.

These Staples stores will be manned strictly by non-union Staples employees. This is the right-wing dream scenario of turning thousands of solid middle class union jobs into part-time/low wage jobs. Would you rather have a trusted postal worker, who is sworn to protect the mail,  handling your transaction or would you rather roll the dice on the credibility of a  low wage staples worker?  Its one step closer to dismantling the worlds best Postal Service, and one more affront on the war on workers.

The Postal Service is kicking the door open to privatize retail operations,” APWU President Mark Dimondstein said. Staples is not a Mom-and-Pop operation, he pointed out, and, “If we don’t stop this program, we will soon get a letter from the Postal Service telling us management plans to contract out all of retail,”

A few weeks ago Staples announced its planning to close over 200 stores nationwide. This news did not deter USPS plans to pursue this contracting out program. This proves, more than ever,” said APWU President Mark Dimondstein, “that it’s a bad idea to turn public services over to a private company that can close stores at will, with no public input and no public comment.

It’s easy to envision a scenario where a local post office is closed and its services placed in a nearby Staples store. Then without warning that Staples closes. Why would the Postal Service theoretically place its customers in that dire situation?

Instead of pursuing this misguided union busting partnership with Staples the USPS would be better off by working with Congress to provide banking services at the local Post Office. This would provide a valuable public service for millions of Americans, while at the same time providing a new revenue stream for the USPS.

There is a growing need for a postal banking system. With over 25% of the American public without bank accounts the demand is abundant. Currently they are being forced to pay exorbitant fees to non traditional banking services just to accomplish routine banking tasks.  These 68  million “unbanked” citizens paid over $89 billion in fees and interest in 2012, on average 10% of their income. The USPS is the only entity positioned in a way to provide these services.

The situation is especially acute in economically disadvantaged areas where banks have moved out leaving behind these shady businesses that profit off the misery of the poor. It is quite clear that establishing postal banking services is an idea whose time has come.

It’s not surprising to see in a country that is obsessed with money and power, that Congress would not take action on any legislation, like postal banking, that would help mitigate the exploitation of those in difficult economic situations.  Power rules in DC the marginalized are always further marginalized.

At a time when the USPS is making an operational profit you would expect them to look to build on that success. Instead, astonishingly,  they are looking at ways to dismantle the most efficient and popular agency of the US Government. The time is now to get involved and stop the next step of the sell off.

Please take part in the National Day of Action and join us at the  STOP STAPLES PROTEST – Thursday April 24th at the Staples on Ft Eddy Rd in  Concord from 4-6 PM

 

Congressman Darrell Issa Still Wants To Gut The USPS And ‘Applauds’ The Destruction of CANADA POST

Congressman ISSA (photo credit Congressman Issa on Flickr)

Congressman ISSA (photo credit Congressman Issa on Flickr)Congressman Darrell Issa continues to astound informed observers of the Postal Service with his misguided comments. Mr Issa “applauded” Canada Post for planning to” phase out expensive to the door delivery “of mail over five years.  He seemed to have no problem equating the US Postal Service with Canada Post. Not taking into consideration that Canada Post lost over a hundred million dollars this year delivering mail while the US Postal Service had an operational profit of $600 million.

Mr Issa also seemed to neglect to mention the fact that Canada Post was raising rates from 63 cents to 85 cents for letter mail. Imagine his reaction if the USPS wanted to raise rates by over 30%.  Most likely his  Government Oversight Committee would hold special hearings around the clock.

Also this “modernization” enabled Canada to become the first G7 country to eliminate home delivery of mail. Being a public servant you would expect Mr Issa to value service to the public not be “applauding” dramatic regression of services.

Mr Issa gushed “The Canadian Government is supportive of its (Canada Post) decision to modernize.” Modernize?  The US Postal Service is the best Postal Service in the world. There is no disputing that. USPS boasts the lowest rates in the world without a penny of tax payer money while delivering over 40% of the world mail.  US Mail is delivered with reliability and a level of public trust that is the envy of other Postal Services and businesses worldwide.

If Mr Issa  wants to look at Canada and find ways for our country to “Modernize” maybe he should look at their very popular and efficient National Health Care System.

Mr Issa seems absurdly focused at working to decimate the Postal Service. I am hopeful that the over $40,000 he gets from Postal Service rival UPS is not a higher priority than the needs of the millions of people who rely on daily delivery of their mail.

Mr Issa, should be applauding his own countries Postal Service rather than working to decimate it.

 

 

 

Is The Congressional Budget Committee Really Out To Destroy The Post Office?

United States Postal Service fleet; U.S.A.

United States Postal Service fleet; U.S.A.Some on the Congressional Budget Committee seem to be misguided on what their task is by seriously considering a proposal to eliminate Saturday mail delivery. The Postal Service has reported an operating profit of $600 Million for Fiscal Year 2013. Its first profit since 2008. Parcel revenue soared to an all time record high of $12.5 Billion. Increasing 8% over last year. So you would think that this is a time to increase service not to decrease it. The USPS is growing to the point that some parts of the country have instituted a limited 7 day’s a week parcel service. Its time to grow the service not shrink it.

This week the Congressional Budget Committee is considering sneaking in a poison pill that would in all probability kill the Postal Service over time and eliminate thousands of jobs immediately. This Budget Committee was set up to mitigate the harmful effects of the Federal Shutdown and sequestration on jobs and public services.   Instead  incredibly they are  exacerbating the problem on both fronts by reducing arguably the most popular and effective part of the Federal Government.

Letter Carrier US Postal Service Though the Postal Service makes an operating profit it is under constant attack by some members of Congress because it provides a popular government service delivered by unionized workers. Government Services and unions are the top targets of the privation zeal of the right-wing. Ideology trumps common sense with these politicians. Somehow they never mention that the worlds best Postal Service does not use ONE CENT of tax payer money

This committee is also attacking the entire Federal workforce by taking $20 billion out of government workers paychecks by increasing workers share of retirement costs.

These same members of this budget committee seem to have no issues with spending billions of dollars every year on a F-35 fighter jet program that literally can’t get off the ground. Yet seem hell-bent on reducing a cost neutral public service that unites our entire country.

The Postal Service financial report is only made gloomy due to an unprecedented retiree health care mandate. The mandate requires the Postal Service to fully fund retiree health care benefits decades in advance, was responsible of 100% of FY 2013 losses and 80% of losses implemented in 2007. This mandate has manufactured a postal crisis that is being used by some politicians to dismantle it.

Apparently the elimination of Saturday delivery will be tied to a trigger that can easily be manipulated by congress and result in disaster for millions of Americans who rely on the Postal Service. These same phony triggers were included in Michigan’s notorious anti union legislation Public Act 4. That destructive law was fortunately repealed by voters last month. We must prevent this Budget Committee from making a similar mistake.

Congress expects to unveil its 2014 budget plan on Friday so the time is short to let members of congress know that eliminating Saturday mail delivery is not an option that makes economic sense. It’s a false choice that the Postal Service must shrink to survive.

 

Without Pre-Funding Obligations The USPS Would Profit How Much?

United States Postal Service fleet; U.S.A.

United States Postal Service fleet; U.S.A.

The new USPS Financial Report issued Friday further validates the claim that the Postal Service is neither broken nor in crisis. Excluding the pre-funding expense the USPS has turned a $660 million profit delivering mail in fiscal year 2013. Showing again that Senator Carper, Senator Coburn and Congressman Issa are manufacturing a postal financial crisis as an excuse to dismantle it. Standing in their shadows are vultures named FedEx and UPS.

Senator Carper on Friday in an interview with NPR spoke of the need to “right size” the Postal Service. Apparently Mr Carper has not noticed that the Postal Service has eliminated 31% of its jobs in the last 10 years. Going from a career workforce of 729,000 in 2003 to slightly over 500,000 at the present time. While letter mail volume has dropped, it has been made up by a spike in highly profitable parcel delivery that as of this moment is at all time highs. Adding to that the Postal Service now delivers to 10.8 million more delivery points than in 2003. Yet Carper makes the outrageous claim that the Postal Service needs to be “right sized” and has too many workers. Mr Carper just insulted 500,000 postal workers and the intelligence of any informed observers.

NALC President Fred Rolando attempted to enlighten congressional leaders on Friday:

“The congressional priority should be to address the actual source of red ink: the $5.5 billion annual pre-funding albatross that is hampering the Postal Service. This mandate is not only onerous, it is unnecessary, because the Postal Service already has put aside sufficient money to meet the needs of future retirees for decades to come. Few, if any, companies can say the same.”

“The path to profitability is clear: Address the pre-funding fiasco and give the Postal Service the freedom to innovate and grow in the digital era. Do not eliminate Saturday delivery, which would raise costs for small businesses open weekends, and do not force people to traipse around their neighborhood looking for cluster boxes. Such steps would inconvenience the public and would destroy the Postal Service by driving mail—and revenue—out of the system.”

It appears that Senator  Carper and Senator Coburn  are being influenced by FedEx and UPS who would capitalize on a dismantled Postal Service. The facts paint the picture: Since Carper’s reelection nine months ago he has received $30,000 from FedEx and 26,500 from UPS .  His next election is over 5 years away! Why the sudden interest? In January, Carper assumed the powerful chairmanship of the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee. He became a powerful man in the Senate regarding Postal Affairs.

The ranking member of that committee is Senator Coburn (R-OK). Coburn infamously introduced an amendment in Postal Bill S1789 last year that created quite a buzz. Amazingly it would “require the Postal Service to dismiss its workers who are retirement eligible in order to cut costs”  It is unknown if Coburn will reintroduce this amendment in S1746.

Colburn introduced with Carper the Postal Reform Act of 2013 (S1746) he has also been the recipient of $25,000 from FedEx this calendar year. Placing FedEx in the top five of his donors. Coburn , it can be argued, owes his political career to ALEC founder the Koch Brothers

FedEx and UPS are members of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)  and both companies have held the vice-chair position on this insidious anti worker and union busting group. FedEx and UPS have donated enormous money over the past few years to Carper and quite possibly they helped craft the new Postal Reform Act S1746.

In the House of Representatives FedEx has been an enthusiastic supporter of Issa’s draconian HR 2748. In the past a Democratic controlled Senate would be the voice of reason and push back against the extreme right-wing ideologues of the House. That does not seem to be the case at this time as Carper is adding fuel to their witch hunt.

The Postal Service is  governments most popular and efficient agency and its being dismantled for pure ideology and greed. Fed Ex,UPS and other ALEC members will profit immensely by the privatizing of the Postal Service and the destruction of their unions.

 

Senator Carper introduces legislation to virtually end the USPS

20130804-223616.jpg

Democratic Senator Tom Carper has moved the Postal Service one big step closer to extinction this weekend by introducing his new Postal Reform Act S 1486. Mr Carper a long time ally of wealthy corporate interests intends to drive the stake into the heart of the worlds best Postal Service. His bill on many levels closely resembles Congressman Issa’s HR 2748 which passed out of a House committee 10 days ago on a party line vote, with only GOP support.

Carper’s S 1486 will allow the elimination of Saturday delivery in just one year. That itself will put the USPS in a death spiral. Cutting service is clearly not the way to compete in a 21st economy. Cutting 16% of the USPS services to save at most 3% of the budget doesn’t seem to be a rational strategy. Saving any money itself is in question as studies have shown that losing Saturday delivery would reduce mail volume by 7.7% that itself would result in a revenue loss of $5.3 Billion far exceeding the money projected to be saved by cutting a day of delivery.

Other aspects of this bill that would harm the American public is that this bill requires the Postal Service to change your mode of delivery to the deivery mode “that is most cost – effective and in the best long-term interest of the Postal Service” This may save the Postal Service some delivery time but to force elderly people into a situation where it will be difficult for them to retrieve their mail in the harsh winter or sweltering summer is not a matter that a civilized society should put a price on.

This Senate bill also removes safeguards for rural customers that have been in place to guarantee them reasonable access to a post office. There will be no limit on how far you must travel to get to your “local” post office. I guess for Mr Carper being a Senator from Delaware that issue does not resonate with him.

S 1486  makes it easy for the Postal Service to sell historic buildings. This was previously forbidden in past postal reform bills. As we all know the conservatives love the idea of selling off Postal Service assets, it is a long-held dream of the right wing. Key Romney advisor Kevin Hassett outlines the plan: “The Postal Service owns or operates 33,000 facilities nationwide, and owns 219,000 vehicles. If we were to auction it off to private investors, the bids would likely be enormous. FedEx and UPS, for example, have a combined market capitalization of almost $100 billion. Given that, how much might a private bidder offer for the right to start a business with the Postal Service’s footprint? The $100 billion mark might be a good first guess” At least they are not hiding their motives.

S 1486 in tandem with HR 2748 if enacted will seem to put an end to a great American institution for purely ideological reasons. The wealthy could never allow a highly unionized and efficient government institution ( USPS does not use a dime of tax money) like the Postal Service be allowed to thrive. In 2006 Bush inserted a poison pill requiring the USPS to prefund retiree health care costs 75 years into the future over a 10 year period. This resulted in this manufactured crisis that corporate owned politicians seem more than happy to capitalize on to increase profits for their wealthy campaign contributors.

The only losers are ordinary American people whose very popular postal service, with an 83% approval rating, has to be dismantled to be “saved”.

 

NHLN  Note:
Read the Union Response to this proposed legislation.
Read the LTE in response to this post.

HR 2748 Postal Reform Act of 2013 Aka Ultra-Wealthy Congressmen Destroying The USPS

Image By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call Photos/Newsroom
Image By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call Photos/Newsroom

Image By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call Photos/Newsroom

So this is how the worlds best Postal Service may meet its demise. Early Friday evening an obscure 2nd term  Republican Texas Congressman Blake Farenthold, who was born into great wealth. Introduced HR2748 that will destroy our nations Postal Service it’s  no surprise that the wealthiest and arguably most corrupt member of Congress Daryl Issa is the one setting this tragic play in motion. There is money to be made selling off Postal Service assets and these people want to capitalize.

Mr Farenthold has a net worth of $35.8 million according to the Center for Responsive Politics and Mr Issa is the 2nd wealthiest member of congress at $220,000 million, according to Roll Call. These two people are making reckless decisions that will affect every ordinary working American in this country who depend on mail delivery. These two are as out of touch with mainstream America as two people can be but they are self appointed experts when it comes to our nations mail delivery.

HR 2748 Postal Reform Act of 2013 will end Saturday Delivery and leaves open the possibility of reducing it further in 2018. HR 2748 also opens the floodgates to contracting out postal jobs and services at an amazing pace. These actions will clearly accelerate the death spiral. The worlds best Postal Service will be dismantled so its remains can be carved up to be sold off to the highest bidder.

This new bill will eliminate most of door to door delivery. People will have to go to the end of the street to retrieve their mail. That’s not going to be immensely popular, especially for the elderly and those of us who deal with harsh winters.  Amazingly there will be a limited number of deliveries to the door as long as the customer pays a few hundred dollars a year fee. I can’t make this stuff up.   They are going to make people pay hundreds of dollars a year to get mail delivered to the door!

They are creating a Five member Postal Service Financial Responsibility and Management Assistance Authority that will take operating power from the USPS Board of Governors. They will  have the power to restructure the Postal Service and cut costs wherever they see fit. That sounds ominously similar to the panel that the State of Michigan uses to shred existing collective bargaining contracts.

I am sure many more details of this bill we be made public before Wednesdays markup and possible vote in the House of Representatives so we should all be vigilant. Please be prepared to contact your congressman and have them vote against HR 2748. Senator Carper has pledged fast action in the Senate so this could domino quick and along with the dominos the worlds best  Postal Service will be knocked to the ground.

Mourn For The Dead, Fight For The Living. A Contrasting View Of Safety In The Workplace

Workers'-Memorial-Day-Banner

Workers'-Memorial-Day-Banner

With Workers Memorial Day approaching Sunday April 28 two high-profile safety situations this week have helped further illustrate the gulf  between a union and non-union workplace. Union leaders have called out the Postal Service for being slow in handling one situation while in Texas a completely different regulatory atmosphere turned into a catastrophe.

Postal employees were reminded of the risks in moving the mail.  Ricin tainted letters passed through mail plants in Tennessee, Maryland and Washington DC.  The media reported the story before the USPS told its employees according to the  American Postal Workers Union (APWU). The hope is the Postal Service will communicate faster with employees if a similar problem occurs in the future.

The APWU was displeased with the Postal Service not telling his members sooner about the Ricin tainted letters sent to President Obama and Senator Wicker. Especially considering the deaths of Postal Workers during the Anthrax mailings in 2001 the APWU expected a quicker response.

“It is unacceptable that postal officials did not contact the union immediately to notify us of this potentially deadly hazard,” Union President Cliff Guffey said. “Postal workers have learned through bitter experience of the dangers we face when poisons are sent through the mail.”

“We intend to demand that this lapse be corrected,” Guffey said. “The safety of postal workers must be management’s first concern in an incident like this. Postal workers have a right to be informed immediately and to have the assistance of their union immediately to make sure that everything is being done that can be done to protect their safety!”

Seemingly the Postal Service was slow in handling this. In the big picture the Postal Service preaches safety constantly and OSHA inspectors frequently visit. It can be legitimately questioned if the Postal Service focus on safety is being done for the right reasons, but there is no doubt safety is emphasized. Lets contrast that to the travesty in Texas.

We are learning grim new details of the West Fertilizer Plant fire last week that killed at least 14 people and injured over 200. Astoundingly this plant was last inspected by OSHA in February 1985.

That is right a non-union fertilizer plant next to both a school and a nursing home went over 27 years without a OSHA inspection. The EPA found numerous safety violations 5 years ago but that was never followed up on. What could possibly go wrong in this situation?

OSHA inspectors have been reduced consistently over the past 30 years  and currently there are only 2,200 inspectors for the country’s 8 million workplaces and 130 million workers. So OSHA could be expected to visit each plant every 129 years.  With no union voice workers are not really empowered to make a call on their own. The whole community in West, Texas is now paying the price.

Routinely government leaders side with industry profits  over public safety.  If you are a union worker and contact OSHA they will undoubtedly respond.  Union officials called out the Postal Service for being 2 days late in notification. Contrast that to the 27 year delay in Texas. If you are a non-union worker and you report a violation most likely your next call will be to the State Unemployment Office.

With Workers Memorial Day being later this week its time for our Congress and Administration to address worker safety. People somehow have to be placed above profits.

 

 

May 11th Support The 21st Annual “Stamp Out Hunger” Food Drive

NALC Stamp Out Hunger --STAMP Date

NALC Stamp Out Hunger --STAMP DateThe National Association of Letter Carriers (AFL-CIO) will be holding their 21st annual food drive on Saturday, May 11th. On that day letter carriers will pick up non-perishable food as they deliver mail on their postal routes. The food donations collected will stay in the towns and cities where they are collected.

When we decided to take our food drive nationwide more than two decades ago, food banks and community service organizations told us that the best time for us to do it would be when people aren’t really thinking about it”, NALC President Fred Rolando noted, “to remind people that, sadly, the need for food is year-round.”  In November and December— around the holidays—many folks get caught up in a spirit of giving, so food pantries and other such organization see a major upswing in food donations,” he said. “But by May, their shelves begin to empty out.”

As the men and women who touch every neighborhood in America six days a week, letter carriers far too often see first-hand how poverty and hunger affect the customers we serve.

“Each year, the second Saturday in May is a day when all citizens have an opportunity, with the help of their letter carrier, to easily donate food to needy families in their community,” Rolando said.

The drive, the largest one-day food-collection event in the nation, has been a success every year. This year’s drive is co sponsored by National Rural Letter Carriers, AARP, AFL CIO and the United Way.

“We are pleased to announce that the United Way will continue to partner with the NALC Food Drive in 2013” United Way President Stacy Stewart said “This effort is a tremendous example of the importance of working with organized labor to advance the common good in communities throughout the United States”

Residents are asked to leave non-perishable food donations in a bag by their mailbox on Saturday May 11th before their letter carrier arrives. It will be picked up and then delivered to a local food bank.

Thank You in advance for your support, Bill Brickley.
(NH Letter Carrier for more than 27 years.)

Below is a great video from the National Association of Letter Carriers about this great event.  Click Here to share to your facebook wall.  For twitter users you can click here to tweet a pre-written message.  Or you can share this YouTube link (http://youtu.be/Uwkr-LJmWwI)

NH Congresswomen Praise Keeping 6-Day Delivery While Congressman Issa Still Pushes For More USPS Cuts

Congressman ISSA (photo credit Congressman Issa on Flickr)

Congressman ISSA (photo credit Congressman Issa on Flickr)New Hampshire’s members of Congress embraced the Postal Board of Governors decision today to obey the law and cancel their plans to end Saturday mail delivery this August. It was quite a different reaction from Congressman Daryl Issa (R-CA) who seems to be thinking the USPS much like himself is above the law.

In New Hampshire we are quite fortunate to have two very smart and sensible Congresswoman who actually think their job is to look out for the best interests of the citizens of their district.

Let’s contrast their reactions to Mr Issa:

“I applaud the Postal Service’s decision to cancel its plan to end Saturday mail service this summer,” Shea-Porter said. “The Postal Service is a vital resource for communities throughout New Hampshire and our country. Eliminating Saturday mail-delivery does not adequately address the issues facing the United States Postal Service and would hurt Granite Staters.”

Annie Kuster added, “I am pleased that the Postal Service will cancel its plan to end Saturday mail service, which would have unduly harmed New Hampshire businesses and communities. Instead of cutting jobs and services, the Postal Service needs sensible reform to fix the onerous pre-funding requirement for future retiree health benefits, boost innovation and efficiency, reduce costs, and provide new and improved services to New Hampshire communities.”

Mr Issa’s reaction was in sharp contrast: I am not quite sure why Mr Issa would encourage the Postal Service to break the law. Though Mr Issa has stayed one step ahead of the law  in many of his ventures its hard to fathom advising the USPS to follow his lead.

“Despite some assertions, it’s quite clear that special-interest lobbying and intense political pressure played a much greater role in the Postal Service’s change of heart than any real or perceived barrier to implementing what had been announced,” Issa said in a statement.

Mr Issa refuses to acknowledge that the congressionally mandated annual $5.5 Billion in pretending retiree health care costs is at the core of this financial crisis. Issa and many in the GOP are using this crisis to continue their war on workers we all feel every day.

There was one troubling aspect of the Boards statement today though. Mr Issa whose own legislation explored the possibility of voiding the Union contracts with the Postal Service had to be delighted in the Board of Governors recommendation to renegotiate the recently signed labor agreements with all Postal unions. NALC President Fred Rolando responded:

“The Board’s call to reopen and renegotiate the postal labor contracts is yet another sign that the Postal Service needs new executive leadership. Asking the NALC to renegotiate a contract that was just settled in January is insulting and unnecessary. The new agreement, which reduced starting pay by 25 to 33 percent and allows for major health care savings, provides for several labor-management task forces to work on ways to increase revenues and cut costs.”

I am hopeful that the Board of Governors decision today abandoning 5 day delivery will allow congress to now focus on much-needed postal reform. Especially working on a quick repeal of the onerous pre-funding issue that has caused this crisis. A feeling of hope carried the day.

There is a real opportunity for postal reform, if the postmaster general and majority on our committee are willing to work on a bipartisan spirit,” said Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va), a member of the Government Oversight panel.

 

NALC President Fredric Rolando statement on USPS Board of Governors announcement

20130410-193306.jpg

NALC President Fredric RolandoApril 10, 2013 —NALC President Fredric Rolando issued the following statement today, in response to the USPS Board of Governors’ announcement that the Postal Service will obey the law and comply with the continuing resolution adopted in March that mandates continuation of six-day mail delivery this year. The Board restated its support for a change to 5-day delivery, but effectively conceded that the postmaster general’s claim that he could ignore the CR was wrong.

“NALC is gratified that the Board of Governors has seen the light on the law—but it is time for them to reconsider their entire “shrink to survive” strategy. Degrading the Postal Service’s last-mile network is a losing strategy. Eliminating Saturday service, which more than a third of all business mailers want to keep, will drive millions of customers away and do more harm than good. The Postal Service needs a growth strategy and the Congress must enact comprehensive reform that overhauls the USPS governance structure, provides greater pricing and product flexibility and reduces or eliminates the crushing pre-funding burden that has caused more than 90 percent of this year’s financial loss so far.

“Maintaining Saturday delivery is critical to the Postal Service’s future. Losing this competitive advantage would not only reduce mail volume and revenue—sending the USPS on a death spiral—but also would disproportionately affect small businesses, the elderly, rural communities, the one-half of the public that pays bills by mail and the many millions who lack access to reliable Internet service. And it would cost tens of thousands of jobs.

The Board’s call to reopen and renegotiate the postal labor contracts is yet another sign that the Postal Service needs new executive leadership. Asking the NALC to renegotiate a contract that was just settled in January is insulting and unnecessary. The new agreement, which reduced starting pay by 25 to 33 percent and allows for major health care savings, provides for several labor-management task forces to work on ways to increase revenues and cut costs.

“Finally, I must credit the hard work of letter carriers, whose efforts to get the message out about Saturday delivery were critical to today’s positive development. We will continue to rely on our members as the fight to protect and preserve the U.S. Postal Service continues.”