Save America’s Postal Service
Rallies set for Sept. 27 in every congressional district
Sept. 8, 2011 -- The NALC has joined forces with the three other postal unions to designate Sept. 27 as a day of action to Save America’s Postal Service.
Together, the NALC and the American Postal Workers Union, the National Postal Mail Handlers Union and the National Rural Letter Carriers Association will rally in every congressional district in the country to build support for H.R. 1351, a bill introduced in the House by Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA).
“With the huge amount of misinformation out there about the Postal Service’s financial situation and how it can be improved, along with congressional failure thus far to address the crisis, letter carriers must take action now,” NALC President Fredric Rolando said. “I urge NALC members to work with our brothers and sisters in the other postal unions to organize the rallies. We must let every member of Congress know that we need his or her support.”
The Lynch bill would prevent the financial collapse of the USPS – without reducing mail delivery, closing thousands of post offices, eliminating hundreds of mail processing facilities, firing 120,000 workers or ending collective-bargaining rights. It would allow the Postal Service to apply billions of dollars in pension overpayments to the congressional mandate that requires the Postal Service to pre-fund the healthcare benefits of future retirees. No other government agency or private company bears this burden, which forces the USPS to pre-fund a 75-year liability in 10 years – at a cost of $5.5 billion annually. Without the mandate, the USPS would have shown a net surplus of $611 million over the past four fiscal years.
Unfortunately, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, has another idea. Word on Capitol Hill is that Rep. Issa is blocking consideration of H.R. 1351. Instead, he has introduced a bill that would destroy the Postal Service as we know it. His bill (H.R. 2309) ignores the cause of the USPS financial crisis: It would do nothing about the pension overpayments or the pre-funding requirement. Rather, it would establish a “solvency authority” with the power to unilaterally cut wages, abolish benefits, and end protection against layoffs. If H.R. 2309 is enacted, thousands of offices throughout the country would be closed.
At the same time, the Postal Service is proposing legislative changes that would authorize management to eliminate Saturday delivery, lay off 120,000 workers and remove postal employees from the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program and from federal retirement plans.
Pass H.R. 1351 NOW
At the rallies on Sept. 27, the unions will be asking legislators to co-sponsor to H.R. 1351, the bill to restore financial stability to the Postal Service. The legislation already has 193 co-sponsors, including both Democrats and Republicans. Where lawmakers already have signed on, the rallies will thank them for their support and ask them to pledge to do everything in their power to ensure its passage.
Each union has volunteered to be responsible for specific congressional districts, and branches or locals already have begun designating District Leads for various locations. The District Leads will secure permits (where necessary), contact the media and make other arrangements.
The unions have developed a common web site to provide information about the rallies, which will be held from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 27. A complete list of rally locations will be posted on the site by Sept. 16, which will be updated often. Visit saveamericaspostalservice.org for the latest news about the Sept. 27 rallies.