USPS Workers To Rally Against Postal Units In Staples Stores On 4-24-14

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Please join the Postal Workers on Thursday April 24, from 4-6 pm in Concord NH for a peaceful demonstration near the Concord Staples on Fort Eddy Road (across from LL Bean at exit 14 off of 93 N). Help us to STOP the privatization & destruction of The U.S.P.S. before it’s too late. 

A recent agreement between the USPS and Staples established postal counters in 82 Staples stores — staffed with low-wage, non-union Staples employees rather than postal workers. Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe and Staples CEO Ron Sargent plan to expand the program to Staples’ 1,500 stores nationwide.

We fully support the expansion of postal services, but we are adamantly opposed to USPS plans to replace good-paying union jobs with non-union low-wage jobs held by workers who have no accountability for the safety and security of the mail. This is nothing less than a direct assault on our jobs and on public postal services.

For more information call Janice at 513-8176 or Dana at 669-2414.

You can also join the Facebook Event and share the details through Facebook!

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Thank You From NH APWU And Full Text Of Issa Protest Event Letter

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Editor’s note: This is a two part message.  The first part is a Thank You from Janice Kelble, Legislative Director for the NH APWU.  The second part is the full text of the flyer delivered by AWPU members at the Issa protest. 

Issa protest 2THANK YOU to all who showed up!

Thank you for the wonderful show of solidarity, it was especially heartwarming to see in February on a holiday weekend in between storms (windchill 5 degrees!!).

We saw many APWU folks, some from our neighboring states of MA, VT, RI, and ME – active & retired,  NALC brothers and sisters, Mailhandlers, Carpenters, SEIU, Firefighters, UAW, AFT, NATCA, the AFL-CIO, the Alliance for Retired Americans, as well as  community friends and neighbors.

They came to help  us to deliver a message to Darrell Issa… Keep the Postal Service Public We do not want to see privatized mail services and we do not want to see you interfere with our collective bargaining. Take away the Congressional noose that was tied around the neck of the Postal Service in 2006, with the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act and allow us to grow. STOP taking SERVICE out of the Postal Service!!!

Monday’s gathering  was a great show of solidarity with an important message. Thank you one & all!!!

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Below is the full message as delivered by the APWU members at the event

Darrell Issa, America’s richest Congressman never met a public service he didn’t want to privatize. We have a message he needs to hear!

While 3 U.S. House bills (that strive to strengthen the United States Postal Service) languish in committee, none of these have been considered by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. The three bills (with hundreds of co-sponsors) will likely never see the light of day.  The only bill considered, sponsored by Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, has only 2 co-sponsors, and it focuses on attacking collective bargaining and privatizing the Postal Service! 

It’s plain & simple; Representative Issa does not want to have the USPS remain a Public Service.

Universal Service to ALL Americans has long been a job well done by Postal Workers serving rural areas and cities across our great country.  It wasn’t until 2006, when the USPS was quite profitable, that Congress decided to take advantage of a thriving Service and require pre-payment of future retiree health benefits (a requirement applied to no other agency!!!). Congress created the biggest problem and Congress can fix it… without privatizing!!

It does not appear that fixing the Service is the Goal, at least not while profits are to be had!

Issa’s bill attacks Collective Bargaining, Deprives Customers of Vital Services, Privatizes Postal Services and Threatens Rural Service. It does NOT relieve the USPS from the pre-funding of health costs for future retirees, allow utilization of retirement system overpayments or allow the USPS to offer new innovative services needed in many communities.

We oppose legislation that would degrade or eliminate postal services. We must stop cuts to USPS’s mail processing network and to delivery service.

We oppose provisions that would result in severe service cuts to rural and hard-to-serve areas that most need postal services. Even small or unprofitable post offices are a vital part of the network required to provide universal services to all Americans.

We strongly oppose interference with collective bargaining agreements and bargaining rights. The collective bargaining process and peaceful dispute resolution through interest arbitration has worked well for the agency since the Postal Reorganization Act of 1970.

The fact is that were it not for the 2006 Congressional mandate that the USPS pre-fund future retiree health benefits, the Postal Service would already be back on track realizing a profit in the past year.

Keep the Service in Postal Service

 KEEP THE POSTAL SERVICE a PUBLIC SERVICE

Solidarity; Multiple Unions Join USPS Unions To Picket Congressman Issa At NH GOP Event

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Over 150 union workers stood out in below zero degree wind chill Monday night to deliver a message to Congressman Issa. He was the key-note speaker at a NH Republican fundraising dinner. The message delivered to Issa was the US Postal Service is not for sale.

Issa wants to dismantle a highly effective postal service. NALC President Fred Rolando reacted to last weeks announcement that the Postal Service made a $765 million operating profit in the first quarter of 2014 by urging Congress not to dismantle the service. “In light of these results, lawmakers should strengthen the postal network while addressing the remaining problem: the congressional mandate to pre-fund future retiree benefits, required of no other public or private entity in the country. Degrading the network and reducing services to the public and businesses would jeopardize the postal turnaround.”

Congressman Issa has other ideas. His 2013 Postal Reform Act HR 2748  will end Saturday Delivery and leaves open the possibility of reducing it further in 2018. Issa’s bill 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.

APWU President Mark Dimondstein called Mr Issa “a pure enemy of the Postal Service”.  Clearly Issa has a different agenda than ensuring the long time survival of the world’s best Postal Service. Issa, a long time champion of union busting and privatization, likely envisions the vast amount of money that can made by privatizing its services.

Dimondstein also referred to Issa and his postal proposals as “cynical and diabolical”. Those are also adept adjectives regarding the way Congressman Issa has become the richest member of congress. As documented by The New Yorker Congressman Issa has a dubious past regarding money-making ventures, often staying one step ahead of the law. Issa is going to have a much more difficult time at profiting off the sale of the Postal Service as the whole country will be victims to that crime.

Dismantling the Postal Service and crushing their unions would be a dream come true for Issa. This would allow him and his pro business cohorts to have even more leverage in their never-ending war on workers. It is quite apparent that the wealthy in this country will never say they are rich enough. Our income inequality has reached almost uncharted levels.

The rally against Issa on this cold windy night in New Hampshire was not about just Issa.   It was not about just the Postal Service. It really was about the continuing attack on workers in both the public sector and private sector.

The solidarity shown by seeing  Carpenters , Teachers, Metal Workers , Firefighters, Air Traffic Controllers and many others as they joined Postal Unions demonstrating in the cold was  quite impressive. The union solidarity as well as the chanting and singing gave all attendees a feeling of warmth in this particularly brutal winter.

The message to Issa and his anti union friends was clear. You are going to have a hell of a fight if you expect to defeat us!!

 

APWU to Launch National Campaign Against Outsourcing USPS Services to Staples

From Left to Right:
 Janice Kelble, Dana Coletti, (President Manchester Area Local & NH Postal Workers Union), Deb Smith, Joe Steele, Mike Lafayette and daughter Maeve

Protests Begin in San Francisco and San Jose Tues., Jan. 28
Message to Staples: When it comes to mail – NO SALE
USPS workers must staff postal counters

From Left to Right:  Janice Kelble, Dana Coletti, (President Manchester Area Local & NH Postal Workers Union), Deb Smith, Joe Steele, Mike Lafayette and daughter Maeve

Image from a local NH APWU action at Staples.
From Left to Right:
Janice Kelble, Dana Coletti, (President Manchester Area Local & NH Postal Workers Union), Deb Smith, Joe Steele, Mike Lafayette and daughter Maeve

SAN FRANCISCO — Members of the American Postal Workers Union, joined by community activists, will launch protests against a deal between the U.S. Postal Service and Staples to move mail services into Staples stores. The first protests in the nation will begin in San Francisco Tuesday morning and later move to San Jose in the afternoon.

In October, USPS announced a no-bid agreement to open postal counters with limited service in more than 80 Staples stores. The Staples-operated and staffed postal counters will open on a trial basis in four markets across the United States: Northern California, Atlanta, GA, Pittsburgh, PA and Central Massachusetts. After the trial period, the Postmaster General has said the plan is to expand to 1,500 stores.

WHO: Members of the American Postal Workers Union, community activists, individuals who regularly use postal services

WHAT: Protests outside Northern California Staples stores

WHEN/WHERE: 10 a.m., Jan. 28th, Staples, 1700 Van Ness, San Francisco

4 p.m., Jan. 28th, Staples, 121 Bernal Road, San Jose

“All Americans should have access to a full-service post office,” said APWU President Mark Dimondstein. “Although first-class mail is declining, package delivery is growing, largely due to e-commerce. This is when we should be expanding the post office to offer longer hours and more options, such as public notary and basic banking. Instead, we are giving customers fewer postal services as a result of this no-bid sweetheart deal with Staples. If we’re going to have mini-Post Offices located in Staples stores, they should still be operated by USPS workers.”

Staples has been struggling recently, shutting 40 stores in the last quarter. The publicly-traded company runs a low-wage operation, with high employee turnover, designed to deliver bulk commodities to customers.

Although the USPS handles 160 billion pieces of mail each year – 40 percent of the world’s total – mail is not a bulk commodity. Each package is individually addressed, and requires individual handling.

During this time of rampant identity theft, privacy and security are of concern to millions of postal customers. Uniformed USPS employees are required to take an oath and pass a background check before they can handle mail and make credit card transactions. Retailers, such as Staples, cannot offer the same assurances.

“Without public debate and despite claims to the contrary, the USPS is moving to shutter the reliable neighborhood post office and move work to Staples and other for-profit businesses,” said Dimondstein “Our union wants to shed a light on this bad deal. We’re confident that when the public learns what’s going on they will say, ‘Staples, when it comes to mail without USPS workers – no sale.”

 

For more information, see this recent story from the Associated Press

Also a similar story from NH:
NH Postal Workers Vehemently Oppose Opening ‘Postal Units’ In Staples Stores – NH Labor News

 

The American Postal Workers Union represents 200,000 employees of the United States Postal Service. The union is affiliated with the AFL-CIO.

Even the Government Accountability Office says that the USPS must keep 6 day delivery.

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Thursday afternoon the Government
Accountability Office issued a legal opinion that supported the NALC’s position that the Postmaster General does not have the law on his side in reducing mail delivery to five days a week. “The GAO agrees with an ever-growing chorus of voices that the postmaster general doesn’t have the law on his side in this matter,” said NALC President Fredric Rolando.

This legal opinion was requested by Congressman Gerry Connolly,D-VA who lauded the verdict: ” Unfortunately, the Postmaster General continues to stonewall Members of Congress, withholding his legal justifications for eliminating Saturday delivery from Postal customers and the American public,” said Connolly, a ranking member on the Subcommittee on Government Operations, in a statement. “The GAO legal opinion clearly rejects the Postal Service’s attempt to circumvent the law.”

In New Hampshire Representatives Carol Shea-Porter and Ann Kuster demonstrated their strong support for Six Day Delivery by being early co-sponsors of HR 630. This legislation protects Six Day Delivery and addresses a number of other important postal issues. Including the 2006 Congressional mandate that requires an annual $5.5 Billion in prefunding of retiree health care costs of employees not yet born. This mandate has largely put the Postal Service in their current dire financial situation. This mandate was created to prevent future insolvency but instead it is causing immediate financial problems.

Wayne Alterisio 2 Also in New Hampshire , on March 17, local citizens in Manchester gathered to rally against the proposed reduction of a day of delivery. NH State Association President Wayne Alteresio rallied the crowd with a moving speech regarding the fight to Save The Post Office. The crowd held approximately 50 signs with the names of local businesses that want to keep six day mail delivery. Also in the crowd were many signs about the negative effects on the local community if a day of delivery was eliminated. Despite the cold wind attendees left optimistic that together we can save the Postal Service.

 

URGENT ACTION NEEDED To Save Six Day Delivery!

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Please make an urgent call today to save 6 day mail delivery. NALC President Rolando outlines urgent situation:

Tomorrow, there is a possibility that Senators Tom Coburn (R-OK) and John McCain (R-AZ) will offer to the Senate’s continuing resolution (CR) an amendment to strike the mandate to provide six-day mail delivery.

As soon as possible, I need you to call 888-987-3602 and urge your senator to vote against this amendment if it is offered.

The attempt to end six-day mail delivery service is an attack on the future of this great institution, on the customers who need it and the employees who make it work. Ending six-day mail delivery will threaten the viability of the Postal Service.

Your senator needs to hear from you tonight or first thing tomorrow. This is extremely urgent. Call 888-987-3602 and you’ll be patched through automatically. And please leave a voicemail message if no one answers.

In Solidarity,

Fredric V. Rolando, President
National Association of Letter Carriers

Come Support Your NH USPS Workers on March 17th In Manchester

NALC Save Americas Postal Service

Rally to Protect Saturday Mail Delivery and Strengthen the Postal Service at Manchester City Hall Plaza at 12:00pm Sunday March 17th.

NALC Save Americas Postal Service

Concerned Citizens throughout America will rally in other states on March 24 to protect Saturday mail delivery and demand that Congress deliver a better plan to strenghten the Postal Service for the future.  The New Hampshire rally in Manchester will take place at City Hall Plaza on March 17 at noon because of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade on the 24th, and all members of the community are invited to attend.

The Postal Service’s plan to shrink the Postal Service and end six-day service is an attack on the future of this great institution, on the customers who need it, and on the employees who support it.  Many Americans – especially smaill-business owners, senior citizens and rural resident-would suffer if the strength and reach of our Postal Service is compromised.  In addition, cutting Saturday mail would delay important household and business transactions, including bills, invoices and personal communications, and may force customers to shift to high-cost competing services.

The US Postal Service is America’s only universal communications network reaching every address in America six days a week.  Established by the Constitution and using no taxpayer funding for its operations, the Postal Service is a vital public institution that New Hampshire cannot afford to be dismantled.

For more information contact Wayne Alterisio

Do The American People Really Support 5 Day Delivery? Hint: Not As Much As They Say

From USPS Polling

Everyone is talking about the USPS and their illegal attempt to change to a five day delivery.  They say that this is the only way ‘save the postal service’.  The USPS has been on Capitol Hill with claims that the overwhelmingly the public is behind the move for five day delivery.   I do not agree.

It is a common trick when conducting polling to ask a question so you get the response you want.  For example how would you respond to this question?

“After learning that this change will allow the Postal Service to be financially stable, to what extent do you support the decision of the Postal Service to begin delivering mail five days per week and packages six days per week, including continuing package delivery on Saturdays?”

If you have to choose yes or no, would you support five day delivery to save the post office? Of course you would.  This is why over 86% of people polled agreed with the above statement.

Now they USPS is pushing the idea that 80% of people support a five day delivery plan.

To what extent do you support the decision of the Postal Service to begin delivering mail five days per week and packages six days per week, including continuing package delivery on Saturdays?”

The real fact is that only 39% strongly support the idea, and 41% somewhat support the idea.

I cannot back up my polling with any real data, however of the people that I have talked to, only 10-15% seem to know and understand what the real problems are with the USPS.   I would be more interested to know what the polling is on that.

How many people know that the real issue with the USPS is the pre-funding mandate set forth by Congress.

I wonder how many people know that certain members of Congress have ties to UPS and want to privatize the entire USPS system.

These are the questions that pollsters should be asking but are not.  Why, because when you pay the pollster, you pay for the results you want.

We should all get behind the new legislation that was introduced by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) to modernize the U.S. Postal Service, save Saturday mail and repeal a crippling law responsible for 80 percent of the mail system’s funding woes.

Really Mr President, Really??? Are You Going To Sit There While They Destroy The USPS?

Photo Brian Kersey / Getty Images

We knew Mitt Romney was going to sell the Postal Service off, we didn’t expect President Obama to sit by idly as Congress sends the Postal Service into a death spiral. It seems this issue should be more important to the President as he often states the importance of our nations infrastructure. His administration has worked to create middle class and veteran jobs but he remains stunningly silent as anti union and anti government politicians let the Postal Service eliminate Saturday delivery and accelerate its demise.

It is widely known that the Postal Service financial problems are tied to a 2006 Congressional mandate that requires the USPS to fund retiree health care costs 75 years into the future. Though the USPS pension funds are seriously over funded congress is still requiring it to put away $5.5 Billion a year for workers not yet born. No other business or agency in America is required to do this.

The Postal Service ties this nation together like no other institution. Rural America depends on 6 day’s a week mail delivery as it our country’s only universal communication network. Fed Ex and UPS provide scant coverage to rural America as they rely on the Postal Service to deliver to these unprofitable spots 6 days a week.

The Right Wing is using this manufactured crisis to dismantle one of Americas most trusted institutions. They are doing this for purely ideological reasons.  Postal workers are the Devil to these people. The USPS employs the largest collection of union workers in the country and their hard work is proof that government can be effective. We have the lowest price of First Class Mail in the world while providing universal service 6 days a week without one penny of tax payer money.

African-Americans were rightfully filled with pride when President Obama was elected and then reelected. The Bush recession has hit African-American Communities hard already with soaring unemployment.  So how can the President  be so quiet when the largest employer of African-Americans (22%)  is being decimated by a manufactured crisis?

The Administration has been a strong proponent of veterans jobs but this manufactured crisis is putting in jeopardy over 130,000 veterans jobs in the Postal Service. How can the President let this happen?

President Obama spoke eloquently in his Inauguration Address about Civil Rights, Gay Rights and Women’s Rights  but he seemed to leave out Workers Rights.  How can he not mention workers rights?

The Labor movement has worked tirelessly to elect President Obama and though he has disappointed us he was clearly our better candidate in both races. That is not an issue. The issue is when is he going to stand up for workers rights?

The time has come for him to speak up on preserving 6 day mail delivery. This is now the issue center stage in the war on workers. He can not  remain silent as thousands of middle class jobs evaporate and our nation’s infrastructure takes a step back. As much as President Obama speaks of social rights and the GOP trumpets gun rights. These rights are diminished if people don’t have jobs. Social freedoms are hollow without economic justice.

 

 

Ending Six Day Delivery Is The Wrong Answer For The USPS

via Save Americas Postal Service (Facebook)

In a flurry of media yesterday it was announced by the CEO of US Postal Service (aka the Postmaster General) Patrick Donahoe that beginning in August the USPS would stop delivering mail on Saturdays.

Wait, WHAT?   That is right, the USPS plans to illegally stop delivering mail to your home or business on saturdays.

Why would they do this?  That is not a simple answer.

The USPS is a very special government entity.  They collect no money from taxes and are completely self funded.  This means the entire postal service is paid for by selling stamps.    They are like a private company with one big catch, everything they do is mandated by Congress.

You may have heard different, or you may have heard the Post Office is going bankrupt.  There is a little truth to both of those statements.  The employees of the USPS are federal employees and are covered under the Federal Employee’s Retirement System (FERs).  In fact the USPS is the single largest section of the federal workforce with over 800,000 employees currently.   In 2006, President Bush signed into a law a bill that forced the USPS to PRE-PAY their retirement contributions.  Basically the USPS has to PRE-PAY the retirement system for the next 75 years in the next 10 years.  This equates to about $5  Billion dollars a years in over payments.

In what is being called a solution to the ‘funding problems’ the USPS released a statement:

“The United States Postal Service announced plans today to transition to a new delivery schedule during the week of Aug. 5, 2013 that includes package delivery Monday through Saturday, and mail delivery Monday through Friday. The Postal Service expects to generate cost savings of approximately $2 billion annually, once the plan is fully implemented.”

Even without a legislative fix to correct the true problem in the USPS, this $2 billion dollars in savings would not be enough to ‘save the USPS from bankruptcy’.

National Association of Letter Carriers President Fredic Rolando condemned the actions in his statement.

“The National Association of Letter Carriers has tried time and again to work with Postal Service management to pursue growth measures and cost savings, but it has become clear that the Postal Service leadership’s only strategy is to gut the unique postal network that provides us with the world’s most affordable delivery service, and to eliminate the services on which Americans depend.”

The statement from USPS CEO Donahoe drew criticism from many in New Hampshire including Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter.

“Congresswoman Shea-Porter has asked to be added as a cosponsor to H.Res 30, which expresses the sense of the House that the Postal Service should maintain six-day delivery.”

“The US Postal Service is a vital resource for communities throughout our state and our country,” said Congresswoman Shea-Porter.  “Eliminating Saturday mail-delivery does not adequately address the issues facing the United States Postal Service. This is the wrong approach because the Postal Service will lose vital business and consumers will be hurt.”

Congresswoman Annie Kuster has been a long time supporter of the NH Association of Letter Carriers.  She sent us this statement.

“I am very disappointed by the Postal Service’s decision, and am opposed to the cancellation of Saturday mail service. That’s why I’m a cosponsor of H.Res. 30, bipartisan legislation supporting 6-day delivery.  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.”

Senator Jeanne Shaheen also responded to the news with this statement.

“I’m disappointed by today’s announcement from the U.S. Postal Service,” Shaheen said yesterday. “I hope the USPS continues to understand the importance of its six-day-a-week package delivery, which many Americans rely on for crucial needs like prescription medications.”

This plan to stop delivering mail and still continue to deliver packages on Saturday is very confusing especially to those who actually deliver the mail. Wayne Altiserio, president of the New Hampshire State Association of Letter Carriers told the Eagle Tribune:

“(The USPS) is stepping over a dollar to pick up a dime. If you’re going to go there with a package, why not bring the mail, too? We have a lot of packages we’re already delivering.”

What are we to do? If we do nothing then we will continue to see the erosion of the USPS until there will be nothing left of the most trusted government agency who process and deliver 40% of the worlds mail every day.  We must take action!

Go to Save America’s Postal Service petition and sign up to preserve six day delivery.

Contact your Congressional Representative and tell them to stop forcing the USPS to pre-fund their retirement system and preserve six day delivery.

Then show you friends and family that you support the USPS. Click this link to share the image below on Facebook (or click here to tweet)

via Save Americas Postal Service (Facebook)

via Save Americas Postal Service (Facebook)