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.
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. 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.