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US Postal Unions And Community Activists To Hold “Stop Delaying America’s Mail” Rally In Manchester, NH (and Nationally)

Postal-Unions-Set-Day-of-Action-to-Protest-Service-Cuts-Mail-Delays_blog_post_fullWidth

Postal-Unions-Set-Day-of-Action-to-Protest-Service-Cuts-Mail-Delays_blog_post_fullWidthOn Nov. 14 postal workers across the country will come together for a National Day of Action to tell Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe and the USPS Board of Governors: Stop Delaying America’s Mail!  Please join us! Whether you are postal employee, a small business owner, an individual customer, or someone who simply wants the U.S. Postal Service to survive and thrive, please get involved!

“The Postal Service is set to make severe cuts in mail delivery service that, if implemented, would cause hardships for customers, drive away business, and cause incalculable harm to its reputation,” NALC President Fredric Rolando said.

Why Now?

The Postmaster General is poised to make devastating cuts in service to the American people – cuts so severe that they will forever damage the U.S. Postal Service.

  • On Jan. 5, the USPS is slated to lower “service standards” to virtually eliminate overnight delivery – including first-class mail from one address to another within the same city or town.
  • All mail (medicine, online purchases, local newspapers, church bulletins, letters, bill payments, invitations) throughout the country will be delayed.
  • Beginning Jan. 5, 82 Mail Processing & Distribution Centers are scheduled to close.

These cuts will cause hardships for customers, drive away business, cause irreparable harm to the U.S. Postal Service, and lead to massive schedule changes and reassignments for employees.

Flawed Strategy

They are part of a flawed management strategy that has unnecessarily sacrificed service and failed to address the cause of the Postal Service’s manufactured financial crisis.

  •  More than 140 plants have closed since 2012;
  •  As a result, mail is delivered much later in the day, well into the evening;
  •  Retail work is being sent to Staples, at more than 1,500 stores throughout the country;
  •  Door delivery is being eliminated in most new housing developments;
  •  Chronic understaffing frustrates customers and slows the mail, and
  •  Six-day delivery is under constant threat.

The four postal unions are joining forces to protect service, fight for our livelihoods, and defend our great national treasure, the U.S. Postal Service. We have many allies in the fight against the proposed changes, including more than half the Senate and 160 U.S. Representatives.

Read the letter from the leaders of the four postal unions to Postmaster General Board of Directors.

Are the Cuts Inevitable?

The Nov. 14 date was selected because it coincides with the USPS Board of Governors’ last public meeting of 2014. On that day, the board will release the USPS financial reports for the fiscal year, and undoubtedly will once again bemoan “billions of dollars in losses.”

In fact, the USPS has earned more than $1 billion in profit from operations this year. The “losses” are the result of a bogus pre-funding requirement and have nothing to do with the cost of collecting, sorting and delivering mail.

The four postal unions, the American Postal Workers Union (APWU), National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC), National Postal Mail Handlers Union(NPMHU) and National Rural Letter Carriers Association (NRLCA), are urging their members and postal customers to send a message to Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe and the USPS Board of Governors:

Stop Delaying America’s Mail!

For those in New Hampshire, we will be hosting a candlelight vigil (details below) for others click here for a listing of events in your area

New Hampshire Candlelight Vigil

grim-reaperWhen: Friday, November 14, 2014

Where: 4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. at City Hall Plaza, 904 Elm St., Manchester.

What: Those attending are encouraged to bring a candle/flashlight/ small light of some sort. Dress in Funeral attire. Even “Grim Reapers” would be appropriate.

Tee Shirts will be provided while supplies last. First come, first served.

Click here to download a sharable flyer for this event.

JUST ADDED! Informational flyers to be given out at Concord Post office and Nashua City Hall Plaza.  CLICK HERE for more details. 

NH – APWU Endorse Jeanne Shaheen For US Senate

apwu logo 300X297

APWU logo LRG

NH Postal Workers Union Proud to Announce Endorsement of Jeanne Shaheen On Labor Day Weekend

Manchester–Today, the New Hampshire Postal Workers Union is proud to announce their endorsement of Jeanne Shaheen for re-election, citing her work protecting the postal service, creating good paying jobs and standing up for New Hampshire workers and their families. Union leaders and members made clear that their decision to endorse was an easy one due to the stark contrast in this race between Jeanne Shaheen and her likely opponent when it comes to putting New Hampshire jobs first.

 “Senator Shaheen supported every postal worker in New Hampshire when she personally urged members of the Appropriations Committee to protect the USPS service standards, helping to preserve a vital public service,” said NH APWU President Dana Coletti. “Jeanne Shaheen looks out for the people of New Hampshire and has always put the families of this state first.

“Meanwhile, Scott Brown is against increasing the minimum wage and supports tax breaks for companies that send jobs overseas.” noted Janice Kelble, NH APWU Legislative Director.  “Now, he’s cashing in as a board member of a company that has offshored American jobs. That’s not the New Hampshire way. Scott Brown is wrong for the state, which is why we will work to reelect Senator Jeanne Shaheen.”

 Jeanne Shaheen has fought to strengthen the economy and create jobs for New Hampshire workers. This month, she signed a letter urging the leadership of the Appropriations Committee to protect the postal service standards, which is critical to maintaining the USPS as a public service. She’s supported investments in the state’s roads and bridges, which postal workers travel on every day, securing funding to rebuild the Portsmouth Memorial Bridge and expand I-93. Shaheen is also fighting to raise the minimum wage and voted to close tax loopholes for companies that ship jobs overseas.

USPS Employees And Community Activists To Rally At NH GOP Event Featuring Congressman Issa

Congressman ISSA (photo credit Congressman Issa on Flickr)

Get those signs ready because every USPS supporter’s favorite Congressman is coming to town.

Congressman ISSA (photo credit Congressman Issa on Flickr)

Congressman Darrell Issa will be speaking at a NH GOP event on Presidents Day (Feb 17th) at the Grappone Conference Center in Concord NH. 

As the Chairman of the House Government Affairs Committee, Congressman Issa has spearheaded the charge that would lead to the eventual privatization of the USPS.   He has proposed to; cut Saturday delivery, cut thousands of postal employee’s jobs, cut door-to-door delivery, and even proposed allowing UPS and FedEx the ability to use mailboxes like the postal service.  All of these horrible ideas are in response the myth that the USPS is ‘failing’ or going bankrupt.

There is no denying that the USPS currently has money problems, however the problems were all made by Congress when they mandated that the USPS pre-fund their retirement system to pay for the next 75 years of retirees, in the next 10 years.  This has lead to a $5 billion dollar shortfall in the USPS budgets. Even with these money problems it should be noted that the USPS does not add one red cent to the national deficit because the USPS is a self-funded agency.  If people like Congressman Issa would just remove the pre-funding mandate, the USPS would bring in a profit of $600-$700 million dollars annually.

We cannot allow people like Congressman Issa continue to lie to the public about the problems of the USPS.  We will not stand idly by and watch why Congressman Issa takes the most trusted government agency and sells it off piece by piece.  This is why postal employees and community activists will be holding an informational picket in front of the Grappone Center, opposing Issa’s actions against the USPS.

Where: Grappone Convention Center
70 Constitutional Avenue,
Concord, NH, 03301.

When: Moday Feb 17th (Presidents Day) from 4:30-5:30pm

Join USPS employees, members of the American Postal Workers Union,  The National Association of  Letter Carriers, and community supporters to tell Congressman Issa,
The USPS Is Not For Sale!

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.

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.

 

 

 

Imagine A Wold Without The USPS, This Infographic Shows What We Would Lose

World WIthout Post Office

Can you imagine what the world would look like without the US Postal Service?  With the never ending attacks on the USPS, this could soon be a reality.  We cannot allow this to happen.  The USPS handles 438 million pieces of mail every day, moving over 40% of the worlds mail.

Below is a great infographic that highlights some of the things that would be lost if we loose the USPS.  The USPS is the second largest employer in the United States, and directly effects over 8 million jobs.  These workers deliver 160 billion pieces of mail every year.   And they do it all without taking any money from taxes. The USPS is completely self funded by the revenue generated from postage.

One of the best things highlighted by this infographic is the charity donations that the USPS help to raise.  Over $76 million dollars raised for breast cancer research, and nearly $2 million dollars for endangered animals.

We must stay united in our effort to preserve this Constitutionally protected service.  The problems facing the USPS are all due to the pre-funding requirement set forth by Congress.  The USPS is being forced to pre-fund their retirement system for 75 years in the next 10 years.  This is the only reason the USPS is ‘loosing money’.  If Congress removes this restriction we will continue to have a vibrant postal service for eternity.

Life without the United States Postal Service
Source: NumberSleuth

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

President Obama Can Do So Much More For Labor Unions

President Obama at factory (WH Photo Pete Souza)

President Obama followed up his omission of labor unions during his Inaugural Address by doing the same at his State of The Union speech.Senator Tom Harkin, a long time advocate of working people summed up the feelings of many in the labor movement during an interview with “The Hill”.

“Not one word in there about, if you want to rebuild the middle class, you’ve got to make it easier and better for people to organize and bargain collectively for their wages and for their conditions of their employment,” Harkin continued. “Not one word about that. And to me, that is the crux of their problem — is that people don’t have any power. They don’t have any power when they’re out there on the job. And you’ve got to have a balance. You’ve got to give workers more of a power to be able to bargain for things like their wages, for pensions, for family and medical leave, and paid sick leave and things like that.

“People just are powerless, and so I was just kind of upset and really saddened that he didn’t even give a nod to labor unions.”

“And you know what?” Harkin added. “He wouldn’t be there without labor unions, and neither would half of our Democrats in the Senate, I’ll tell you that.”

President Obama is not stepping up to the plate to protect unions at any level. He would not be in the oval office today without the work of unions but he for some reason refuses to acknowledge them.

The Postal Service is the largest collection of union workers in this country and they are being decimated by congressional mandates. Congress is silently watching as Saturday mail delivery is eliminated and this will further serve to accelerate a death spiral for the Postal Service. A blow to the American people and the Labor Movement. Not one mention by our President.

Its time for President Obama to take actions that will make life better for working Americans on Main St.  The Republicans are already the party representing Wall St. We do not need another political party doing that.

President Obama, when you needed help from labor unions we were there for you. Just like unions step up and protect millions of Americans every day. It’s now time that you stand up for us.

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.

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)

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