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Republicans and Democrats Push Senate Bill To Further The Destruction Of The USPS

Colburn and Carper

Senator Coburn and Senator Carper
Image from HSGAC.GOV

Previously we reported on the fierce opposition to Senate Bill 1486 (postal reform) that was at the time, being introduced into the US Senate.  This week the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee voted 9-1 to approve S1486 with provisions that will destroy good jobs, and close post offices.

“This disastrous bill would severely damage service to the people; weaken the USPS and make it ripe for privatization, and destroy good jobs throughout the country,” said APWU President Mark Dimondstein. “The APWU urges senators to vote against the bill if and when it is brought to the Senate floor for consideration.”

“Unnecessary and damaging attacks on the Postal Service’s vital networks and its employees—such as those unfortunately included in S. 1486—would only send the USPS on a downward trajectory,” said NALC President Fredric Rolando.

(The NALC also submitted this letter to the Senate spelling out the opposition to this bill.)

I am not surprised that my Senator, Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) voted for the bill, because like many others in the Republican Party, they want to privatize the USPS. HSGAC Votes on S1486 I am shocked at how some the Democratic Senators on the committee voted. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI), Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), and Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR) all voted to move this legislation out of committee.

This is shocking to me because this legislation would decimate the unionized workforce of the USPS, and the Democrats are usually the party that works with labor unions, not against them.  I guess that just goes to show that when it comes to attacking organized labor, both parties share the blame.

This bill is a horrible and offers no solution to the well-documented problems in the USPS, the pre-funding obligation.  Instead the bill adds another $17 billion to the debt obligation to the USPS.  It is insane to think that if the USPS cannot pay their current financial obligations due to the pre-funding mandate, that adding another $17 billion will somehow help the situation.

Adding more financial obligations to the USPS is not the only problems with this bill.  The National Association of Letter Carriers laid out the other problems with the bill.

  • Threaten 100,000 full- and part-time postal jobs;
  • Lead to pension cuts; 
  • Weaken workers’ position in upcoming contract negotiations; 
  • Permit the USPS to close and consolidate mail processing facilities after two years; 
  • Allow the Postal Service to further reduce service and delivery standards;
  • Eliminate Saturday delivery after 2017;
  • Eliminate door-to-door mail delivery for new businesses and households, and 
  • Expose injured workers to impoverishment once they reach retirement age.

Possibly cutting 100,000 good mostly union jobs, is not the way to rebuild our economy.  We elected representatives to Congress to create jobs, not destroy them.

While the combination of postal unions was successful in preserving six-day delivery, it is only a temporary fix.  This new bill still wants to eliminate six-day delivery by 2017, along with the door-to-door service.

“Paving the way for eliminating six-day delivery and door-to-door service would hurt millions of residents and small businesses as well as the Postal Service itself, because it would slow service, drive mail out of the system and reduce the earned revenue that funds USPS,” said NALC President Fredric Rolando.

It continues to baffle me that between all of the Senators and Congressmen in Washington that none of them can seem to figure out the simple solution to the problems in the USPS.  All they need to do is pass a bill removing the pre-funding mandates, and poof, all the problems go away.

In fact the post office is becoming stronger and stronger every day.   Parcel shipments are up and with that revenue is up.

“The announced operating profit of $765 million for the first quarter is dramatic in itself—and it continues the operating profitability that began last year,” said NALC President Fredric Rolando.  “This quarter’s $765 million operating profit compares with the $100 million from the first quarter of 2013—another sign of improving postal finances.”

Rolando continued, “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.”

It is truly sad to see that both Republicans, and now Democrats, are working together to further the destruction of most revered agency in the federal government.

APWU to Launch National Campaign Against Outsourcing USPS Services to Staples

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.

The NHLN’s Top Five Priorities For 2014

Image from SantaBanta.com

Image from SantaBanta.com

Today we begin a new year and I thought I would take a few minutes to lay out my priorities for the NH Labor News this year.   As the creator and content editor of the NH Labor News, I get to choose the direction the blog moves in.  This year we are going to be focused on these five things. 1) Raising the Minimum Wage in New Hampshire and throughout the country: The minimum wage is so far behind that people are working full time and still live in poverty.  We need to increase the minimum wage to help give people at the bottom more spendable income, which they will spend in local stores and businesses. Raising the minimum wage will also reduce the amount of money that the government shells out in food assistance programs. Raising the minimum wage will create new jobs and increase our GDP. 2) Passing comprehensive immigration reform and providing a roadmap to citizenship. There is no denying that we need to do something to change our current immigration laws.  Every day over 1,000 immigrants are forcibly deported, tearing apart their families and destroying their lives.  These immigrants are being physically abused and are having their personal property stolen. What about the children, the ‘dreamers’, who were brought illegally as toddlers and have lived in the U.S. their entire lives?  Many of these children do not know they are not American citizens until they try to acquire a driver’s license or some other government ID. We need to do something for the 11 million aspiring Americans, who like my great grandparents, left everything to move to American and chase the American dream.   They deserve the same chances that our grandparents had. 3) Postal Reform: Our goal is to bring awareness to the real reason the USPS is going bankrupt on paper.  The truth is that the pre-funding obligation forced on the USPS is what is making it appear that they are going bankrupt. With Congressional Representatives like Darrel Issa pushing to end Saturday delivery and privatize the entire USPS, we need to fight back.  We cannot let they destroy the great and most beloved division of the US Government. We will continue to bring you news about pending legislation and proposed changes to the USPS. 4) Healthcare: Whether you’re a fan of the Affordable Care Act or not, there is no denying that it has helped millions of Americans get affordable healthcare, many for the first time.  Like many laws, there are flaws, but compared to what we had before it is a step in the right direction with an ultimate goal of having a national single payer system. We will also keep pushing to expand Medicaid.  Low-income families can barely afford to survive and need programs like Medicaid to help keep their families healthy.  Over 50,000 Granite Staters would benefit from an expanded Medicaid, if we could just pass the bill. 5) Pushing for stronger labor laws and creating new American jobs: We need to repeal the Taft-Hartley Act. We need to pass laws that make it easier to organize workers, especially in jobs that are not typically covered by unions (i.e. McDonalds and Wal-Mart). We will continue to fight against the so-called Right To Work (for less) laws that weaken the collective bargaining process and lower wages for all workers. We also need to continue to fight against the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership that will only continue the off shoring of US Jobs.  At the same time we need to keep pushing for laws that increase American manufacturing.  Ensuring that the US Government spends our tax dollars on companies right here at home. We also need to pass a real jobs bill, something that will help rebuild our nations infrastructure while putting millions of people to work. If you follow the NH Labor News then none of these items will be foreign to you.  These are the main items we talk about, and will continue to talk about, until we see the changes we need and want. As long as you keep reading and sharing, we will keep writing and providing ammunition to fight back against the right wing attackers. If you have not already subscribed via email, now is your chance.

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(Not in the top five, but a personal priority for me. I will continue to push for stronger gun laws, and universal background checks on all gun sales. I do not ever want to see children running out of their elementary school again because a man carrying an assault weapon is terrorizing their school.   I do not want to have to write about the sacrifices that six brave educators did in an attempt to protect their children.)

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

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.

 

USPS Unions Submit Letter To Senator Reid Over Sen Carper’s Postal Reform (S1486)

Today, the presidents of the four postal employee unions—the National Association of Letter Carriers, the American Postal Workers Union, the National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association and the National Postal Mail Handlers Union—sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) “to express our utter dismay with the introduction of S. 1486 on August 1,” a postal bill introduced by Sens. Tom Carper (D-DE) and Tom Coburn (R-OK) that “renews a commitment to the disastrous Bush administration policy to mandate massive pre-funding of future retiree health benefits and provides for major downsizing measures to pay for it.”

 

August 5, 2013The Honorable Harry Reid
Senate Majority Leader
U.S. Senate
Washington, DC 20510Dear Leader Reid:

Over the years you have been a tireless defender of working people and their families as well as a staunch supporter of a strong labor movement. Your recent skillful work to secure the appointment of Labor Secretary Tom Perez and to revive the NLRB in support of decent living standards in America is the latest evidence of this. Unfortunately, we must alert you to a serious threat coming from the Senate to these standards, S. 1486, the Postal Reform Act of 2013.

On behalf of 500,000 employees of the U.S. Postal Service, who live and work in all 50 states (as well as in D.C., Puerto Rico and other jurisdictions), we wish to express our utter dismay with the introduction of S. 1486 on August 1st, just minutes before the summer recess. The bill was co-authored by Sen. Tom Carper and Sen. Tom Coburn, the chair and ranking member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. It renews a commitment to the disastrous Bush administration policy to mandate massive prefunding of future retiree health benefits and provides for major downsizing measures to pay for it.

The relief provided by its three-year moratorium on pre-funding payments is more apparent than real since the USPS has not been able to make the unaffordable payments in recent years; it won’t be able to do so in the future when the pre-funding mandate is re-imposed with both normal cost and amortization payments that other businesses do not have to make into retiree health funds.

In order to allegedly give the Postal Service the ability to afford future pre-funding costs, and to add insult to injury, the Carper-Coburn bill would give USPS tools to slash postal employees’ pension and health benefits by making these federal employee benefits subject to interest arbitration. No other federal employees face such a burden – including Members of Congress and their staffers. Our unions were not consulted about these proposed major changes to our rights as federal employees or to our collective bargaining process.

S. 1486 would facilitate the dismantling of the Postal Service’s mail processing and delivery networks, weakening both our first-mile (post office) and last-mile (delivery) capacity, in order to preserve a pre-funding policy that makes no sense. This would seriously harm the 7.5 million Americans who work in private companies that rely on the USPS. The bill would:

  • destroy 80,000 full- and part-time jobs in both cities and rural areas, after a one-year delay, by eliminating Saturday mail delivery (harming millions of businesses who want it) and give the Postmaster General authority to eliminate additional days of delivery in the future;
  • slash tens of thousands of additional jobs, after a two-year delay, by allowing USPS to reduce service and delivery standards and to close hundreds of mail processing facilities and thousands of post offices;
  • mandate the elimination of door-to-door delivery of mail for all business and new households, and call for the phase out of door delivery to millions of established households – threatening at least 16,500 additional jobs; and
  • impose cruel and discriminatory reforms to the FECA workers compensation program that would leave injured federal workers with the worst long-term injuries vulnerable to impoverishment when they reach their Social Security retirement ages.

This massive downsizing and the bill’s assault on postal employee benefits are not necessary. They are being driven by the irrational retiree health financing policy that no other business or agency would adopt. The Postal Service has already pre-funded decades of retiree health premiums, more than any other enterprise in America. Indeed, USPS has already set aside an estimated $49 billion for such premiums, approximately 50% of total expected costs over the next 90+ years.

The Postal Service had been making great progress over the past year – it has earned an operating profit so far this year, its package business is booming, and commercial mail is recovering as the housing market and the national economy show signs of revival. It should not be forced to forgo new vehicles and investments in new technology, new innovations and new products in order to put even more money into the PSRHBF. Just as the budget sequester has thwarted a strong economic recovery, the adoption of more misguided austerity though a bad postal reform bill would make things worse, not better.

We hope that you will actively work to promote postal reform that will create jobs and innovation, not more job cuts and reduced service for the American people. The 30 members of the Senate who have co-sponsored S.316, the Postal Service Protection Act of 2013, have taken the right approach. That bill would strengthen the Postal Service, promote innovation and, most importantly, resolve the retiree health and pension policies that have crippled the Postal Service in recent years.

There are many policy alternatives to the negative proposals in S. 1486 – measures to increase postal revenues, cut costs and cover future retiree health liabilities without massive service and job cuts. We pledge to work with the Senate to define and develop workable, bi-partisan alternatives.

Thanks again for your commitment to America’s hard working postal employees who serve the nation and our economy with the most efficient and most affordable postal services in the world.

Sincerely,

Cliff Guffey, President
APWU
Fredric V. Rolando, President
NALC
John F. Hegarty, President
NPMHU
Jeanette Dwyer, President
NRLCA

LTE In Response to Sen. Carper’s New USPS Bill

NHLN NOTE: This is a letter to the editor in response to this editorial by Bill Brickley about the newly proposed USPS reform bill.

Senator Carper’s Postal Reform Act S 1486 should not be surprising, since he received contributions from UPS ($59,000) and FedEx ($72,500) (opensecrets.org).

His bill, like Issa’s bill, would encourage the use of cluster boxes. which would not just inconvenience mail recipients. Delivering mail into individual mail boxes, under doors and through door slots on porches and in side doors block after block, day after day, takes stamina and a good memory. The use of cluster boxes would dumb down the job, allowing the USPS to follow the anti-labor example of the Netherlands in hiring part time, low paid workers.

The privatized Dutch post office PostNL fired hundreds of older letter carriers and replaced them with workers paid per item or on a part time basis, many earning less than the minimum wage. (http://ernstseconomyforyou.blogspot.com, March 28) A Dutch poll found 80% of the public dis-satisfied with their postal services.

The recurrent high marks the USPS is given in poll after poll will soon be history if bad policies like cluster boxes, no delivery on Saturdays and delayed mail are allowed to grow and fester.

Joe Piette

Upper Darby, PA

Senator Carper introduces legislation to virtually end the USPS

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.

NALC Statement On HR 2748 “postal reform act”

On July 24, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, held a mark-up session on his postal bill, H.R. 2748. The committee, which has oversight of the Postal Service, passed the measure on a party-line vote and recommend it for consideration by the full House of Representatives.NALC color logo

The NALC strongly opposes this harmful bill. During Congress’ upcoming summer recess, when House members will be visiting constituents in their home districts, our legislative and grassroots activists will meet with our representatives and explain to them how this bill:

  • fails to provide a long-term solution to the disastrous and unfair pre-funding burden
  • jeopardizes the Postal Service’s most important asset: its brand for trusted universal service
  • would slash services to Americans and eliminate at least 100,000 good jobs
  • directly attacks postal employees’ collective-bargaining rights
  • creates a costly new level of bureaucracy at the Postal Service.

Here is NALC President Fredric Rolando’s statement:

Depriving Americans of the door-to-door delivery they rely on is a losing proposition that enjoys little support among the public. Even the postmaster general recently testified to Congress that it arouses widespread concern.

Ending door-to-door delivery for tens of millions of Americans would particularly harm small businesses as well as the elderly and people who live in areas with extreme weather. And it’s counterproductive financially, because—as is the case with the proposal to eliminate Saturday delivery—degrading service would drive mail out of the system and reduce revenue.

And cutting service doesn’t even address the Postal Service’s financial problems, which aren’t caused by mail delivery. Almost all of its red ink stems from the 2006 congressional mandate to pre-fund future retiree health benefits—something no other public agency or private company is required to do.

Lawmakers should fix the problems they created, not make counterproductive reductions in service to America’s businesses and residents. There are many opportunities, such as the boom in package deliveries from the expanding e‑commerce market mentioned today, ready to be tapped if lawmakers act responsibly.

Click here to read President Rolando’s letter to Issa about the bill’s discussion draft.

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

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.

Yep, They’re Still Trying to Privatize the Post Office.

Photo Brian Kersey / Getty Images

Yesterday, a Washington, DC “think tank” — originally chartered by Congress — announced it would “conduct an independent study of how the quasi-government agency could cede much of its operation to private companies.”  Read the Washington Post article here.

Trouble is, this isn’t exactly an “independent” review.  The study is being “made possible by a contribution from Pitney Bowes”.

And it’s based on a “White Paper” authored by a group including: a Cato Institute economist; the Deputy Postmaster General under President George W. Bush; and a lobbyist for the Direct Marketing Association, who was hired “to head lobbying efforts aimed at reforming the U.S. Postal Service.”

Golly.  The suspense.  Wonder what this “non-profit think tank” is going to recommend doing to the Postal Service?  [Remember, the Republican Party Platform calls for “Restructuring the U.S. Postal Service for the Twenty-First Century.”]

Their report is due out in March.  Yes, right when the next Congress-created economic crisis is scheduled to hit.

Read more about Grover Norquist’s lobbying to dismantle the Post Office here.

Read about House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan — and his wife — here.

Read all NHLN coverage of the USPS here.

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