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.

 

 

Latest Update on 6 day delivery from National Association of Letter Carriers

A message from NALC President  Fredric V. Rolando

First, let me express the NALC’s condolences and my personal sympathies for the families and friends of the victims of the mass shooting yesterday in Connecticut. Sadly, there have been far too many such rampages in recent years. These unspeakable crimes should motivate all Americans to come together to find ways to prevent future tragedies of this kind.

Even as we mourn this weekend, however, we cannot afford to lose track of the urgent battle over the future of the Postal Service.

The good news is that negotiations over the flawed “compromise” bill appear to be stalled, at least temporarily. The bad news is that Congress may stay is session beyond the holidays to finish the so-called “fiscal cliff” budget negotiations, so the fight over postal reform is far from over.

According to our best sources, no agreement was reached at congressional staff–level negotiations on the compromise bill this week, thanks in part to the continued activism of letter carriers. But we are hearing talk of eliminating Saturday delivery one year from now. That’s halfway between the House’s proposal in H.R. 2309 to eliminate it immediately and the Senate’s proposal in S. 1789 to retain six-day delivery but only for two years. Either way, 25,000 city carrier jobs—one-sixth of our workforce—would be sacrificed, instead of removing the real problem: the future retiree health pre-funding burden.

If an agreement is reached by the staff, the compromise will be presented to the small group of committee leaders from the House and Senate committees that oversee the Postal Service. There is no guarantee that those leaders will sign off on the resulting postal reform. If they do, they will have to convince the leadership to let the full Congress consider the legislation—and possibly attach it to other bills under consideration. Fortunately, it now looks doubtful that any postal reform bill could be attached to the Hurricane Sandy relief bill, which the Senate is scheduled to take up on Monday.

Nevertheless, we must convince the entire Congress to oppose any rush to enact postal reform in the lame-duck session. Congress must start over in the new year and do the job right.

Time is running out, since it will take some time to translate any agreement into legislative language, but we won’t be safe until Congress adjourns for the year.

So we have to keep the pressure up. I need you to call your House and Senate representatives this week at 202-224-3121. Even if you have already called, call again. And urge other carriers and postal employees, as well as your family members, your neighbors and your friends, to do the same.

I have been in direct contact with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to share our views, and our legislative staff is working around the clock to inform members of Congress about the dangers of a flawed compromise. We will be running this advertisement in Capitol Hill newspapers next week, and we are conducting a sophisticated digital-media campaign targeting Capitol Hill staffers and their principals.

If we all do our part, we can win this important fight.

In Solidarity,

Fredric V. Rolando, President
National Association of Letter Carrier

NALC Response To Sen Lieberman’s Comment To Immediately Move To Five Day Delivery

What follows is the NALC response to Joe Lieberman’s bizarre plan to immediately end Saturday mail delivery but continue delivering parcels.

“On Thursday, Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-CT), the retiring chairman of the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, called a bipartisan meeting of House and Senate leaders to discuss his alarming idea to allow the U.S. Postal Service to end Saturday mail delivery service but retain package delivery service on that day.

“While I’m sure Senator Lieberman’s intentions are good, his notion not only is misguided, it falls into the trap of failing to address the root cause of problems the Postal Service continues to face,” NALC President Fredric Rolando said. “In fact, his proposal completely ignores the 2006 congressional mandate to pre-fund 75 years’ worth of future retiree health benefits and to do so within just 10 years.”

“This crisis, manufactured by Congress, is what’s creating on Capitol Hill a false sense of urgency to act immediately,” Rolando said. “There is no argument that something must be done to solve the Postal Service’s financial problems, but Lieberman’s so-called compromise would eliminate 25,000 city carrier jobs and drive more business away from the Postal Service by undermining the value of our service.”

The president pointed to a key underlying message from USPS’s financial report on Thursday for Fiscal Year 2012, which ended Sept. 30.

“Almost $11.1 billion of the Postal Service’s reported $15.9 billion loss this past fiscal year stems from the pre-funding mandate—an unfair burden that no other company or government agency bears,” Rolando said.

“In fact, leaving aside pre-funding and other actuarial adjustments, a fraction of the overall losses—$2.5 billion—came from the actual delivery of mail,” he said. “That’s still a lot of money, but it needs to be stressed that it’s about half of the $4.9 billion in losses recorded the previous year.

“Rather than charging ahead with a faulty compromise that focuses only on service cuts,” the president said, “Congress should take carefully measured steps to address pre-funding—especially since the pre-funding account already contains more than enough cash to meet the health benefit needs of future retirees for decades to come.

“Addressing pre-funding would help take away the manufactured sense of urgency and allow the entire postal community—employees as well as lawmakers and managers—to come together to develop a forward-looking business plan to help the Postal Service succeed in the 21st century,” Rolando said.

This Election, Labor Leads The Way

Lou SAPS

The NALC has again shown why it is among the best unions in the land. Realizing our Unions very existence was at stake. The NALC sent hundreds of Carriers into the field to work full time on AFL CIO’s LABOR 2012 program. That decision paid off as unions worked hard and brought home some much-needed victories for the Labor Movement and the Postal Service. As good as this victory was we still have many obstacles to overcome.

The NALC, APWU and NPMHU had their very existence at stake on November 6th. Romney had full intention of eliminating our jobs and privatizing the USPS if given the chance.  Postal Unions worked together in New Hampshire to elect President Barrack Obama, Governor Maggie Hassan, long time friend Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter, and also welcomed a union friendly Congresswoman Annie McLane-Kuster to Congress. Our three unions were an effective team working together throughout the state to ensure our survival.

Possibly now this nation can address real problems as a country not imaginary ones. The right wing media loves using phony issues to distract the public. They want voters to vote against their own economic interests; they try to accomplish this by manufacturing an alternate reality.  Rachel Madow accurately pointed this out on November 7th.

Ohio really did go to the president

And he really did win.
And he really was born in Hawaii.
And he really is -legitimately- President of the United States.
Again.

And the Bureau of Labor Statistics did not make-up a fake unemployment rate
And the Congressional Research Service really can find no evidence
That cutting taxes on rich people grows the economy.

And the polls were not skewed to over-sample Democrats.
And Nate Silver was not making up fake projections about the election to make conservatives feel bad.
He was doing math.

And climate change is real.
And rape really does cause pregnancy sometimes.
And evolution is a thing.
And Benghazi was an attack on us. It was not a scandal by us.

And no one is taking away anyone’s guns.
And taxes haven’t gone up.
And the deficit is dropping, actually.
And Saddam Hussein didn’t have weapons of mass destruction.

And the moon landing was real.
And FEMA isn’t building concentration camps.
And UN election observers aren’t taking over Texas.
And moderate reforms of the regulations on the insurance industry
And the financial services industry
Are not the same thing as communism

So one of the real topics that must be dealt with is the financial situation of the Postal Service. President Rolando challenged Congress: “Addressing in a responsible manner the future of the Postal Service would, indeed, be a good place for all sides to demonstrate a commitment to effective governing,” Rolando said. “Legislation currently before Congress in both chambers fails to meet the grade, because it would dismantle the universal network that provides Americans with the world’s most efficient delivery service, while degrading those very services and hence driving mail and revenue out of the system.”

One ballot question that was of particular interest to Letter Carriers was a ballot question in Michigan that would repeal Public Act 4. That act and implementation by Governor Snyder was the model Congressman Issa used to create his Postal Bill HR 2309. The most controversial aspect of Michigan’s Public Act 4 was one that allowed emergency managers to amend or scrap collective bargaining agreements under certain circumstances. This was how Mr. Issa was going to take away our collective bargaining rights. In Michigan that Act was repealed by the Voters! Hopefully Mr. Issa takes note and he will allow reasonable postal reform proposals to be heard in his committee.

Though this election was a major win for the Labor Movement and the Middle Class we still have much work to do. We as Letter carriers have to be vigilant and make our voices heard as Congress debates our future as well as the Postal Services as they attempt to rectify this manufactured crisis. The quality of our lives for decades to follow depends on it.