NALC President reacts to Obama 5 day delivery proposal

From the National Association of Letter Carriers:

Feb. 13, 2012 — President Barack Obama today released his budget for Fiscal Year 2013. Of specific concern is the call for giving the USPS the authority to reduce mail delivery service from six days a week to five as soon as early as January 2013.

“Eliminating Saturday delivery is a counter-productive proposal that would degrade services to the public and to businesses, threaten the viability of the Postal Service itself, and begin to dismantle the universal network that has served the country well for 200 years,” NALC President Fredric V. Rolando said.

“Among those who would be most affected are residents of rural communities, the elderly, those who need medicines or other goods on weekends, not to mention small businesses, which are open weekends and need to send and receive financial documents—and which create two-thirds of all new jobs. Eliminating Saturday delivery would pose additional costs on all who are compelled to contract with expensive carriers. Taxpayers wouldn’t save a penny, because they don’t fund the Postal Service; USPS earns its own money by selling stamps and services.

“Even from a strict business standpoint, cutting Saturday delivery is a nonsensical proposal. Sacrificing 17 percent of service to save 3 percent of the budget is not a rational business formula. This would only drive customers away and further reduce revenues.

“In particular, it would jeopardize the Postal Service’s ability to capitalize on the growing business of delivering the goods that people order online. Increasingly, the Postal Service is providing last-mile delivery of those packages for UPS and FedEx, because its universal network allows it to do so more efficiently.

“Last week’s quarterly financial statement by the Postal Service illustrates this perfectly. Postal Service Chief Financial Officer Jim Corbett announced a net operating profit of $200 million delivering the mail in the first quarter of Fiscal Year 2012, an impressive performance the CFO said was in part ‘driven by strong growth in online merchandise sales’—up 7 percent over the first quarter of the previous year. That shows the potential for growth offered by the Internet.

“The best day to deliver those packages? Saturday, when people are home.

“The real financial burden facing the Postal Service is not in providing first-class service to the public, but rather the congressional mandate that the USPS—alone among all government agencies and private firms—pre-future retiree health care benefits for the next 75 years and do so within a decade. The resulting annual payments of $5.5 billion account for more than 85 percent of all the Postal Service’s red ink.

“Last quarter, the $200 million operating profit turned into massive red ink largely because of the $3.1 billion in pre-funding charges the Postal Service reported. This is a problem that Congress created and that Congress could fix immediately.

“It’s unfortunate that President Obama has bought into the postmaster general’s push to start to dismantle the universal network, and we will work with our friends in Congress, our customers and our allies in the business community to strike this proposal from the budget before it comes up for a vote.

“The president deserves credit for addressing pre-funding in a short-term manner in his budget, but this is a long-term problem that requires a durable fix.

“The U.S. Postal Service remains the most-trusted federal agency in the country, six years running. It provides the most affordable postal service in the industrial world. It is the centerpiece of a $1.3 trillion mailing industry that employs 7.5 million Americans in the private sector, jobs that depend on a robust Postal Service. At a time of mass joblessness, we should not put those jobs at risk needlessly. Congress needs to do its job by removing the crushing burden of the pre-funding payments so the Postal Service can continue to serve the public. H.R. 1351, which now has a bipartisan House majority of 228 co-sponsors, addresses this issue—and Congress should vote on it. In the Senate, S. 1853, a postal reform bill, recognizes the value of maintaining six-day service and moves to make that service level the law.”

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  • craft director

    We are getting screwed by the Republicans AND the White House.

  • David Snyder

    It’s idiotic, and, of course, it will happen. Fasten your seat belts and start exploring other options.

  • reagan

    The auto industry shut down oldsmobile and plymouth and gave early retirement offers with support of the unions but nalc is fighting for a ghost they will wait until the republicans distroy us, wake up nalc!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Scout

    Hey craft director the man in the Whitehouse is a Democrat, just in case you didn’t know.

  • Crispy

    Scout that is why he said AND the white house

  • JackD

    The white house talks about creating jobs, giving monetary incentives to hire people and hiring Vets. The postal service is one of the largest employers of Vets and minorities. These are middle class jobs that can’t be farmed out to another country. If they keep doing things like this we will slide into a depression. Think of all the jobs that will be lost in business that count on the mail.

  • craig196

    We are not going to get everything we want. If we get rid of Obama we will have the republicans who want to privatize the USPS, so then we all lose and have no jobs. We need to get real, times are changing. Look at Kodak, no more film. It’s the computer age.

  • Leander M. Kuszak

    The surveys conducted of the American public, and the mailers show that the loss of Saturday delivery is the least painful idea out there to help the U.S.P.S . The mailers do not want a rate increase. Netflix doesn’t care about dvd mailings, they are pushing streaming of videos and new tv series. Prescriptions from the V.A. do not get preferential delivery on Saturday. The other prescriptions are delivered by the pharmacies or picked up by family. E-Bay mailers want inexpensive shipping costs and Saturday delivery is not an absolute must. Saturdays off for carriers cuts down on sick leave abuse so you can get a Saturday off to attend family events. The NALC is not representing the interests of a large amount of carrier concerns on this issue. I will not support the NALC in its efforts to preserve Saturday delivery.

  • Lee Smith

    President Bush and the Republican congress in 2006 passed the Postal Enhancement Act with support of Republican postal workers to pay 5.5 Billion dollars on a yearly basis. As well as put a cap on first class stamp increases based on a low consumer index. The Republican postal workers excepted Bush’s Postal Enhancement act that allowed the Postmaster General to close and consolidated postal facilities and layoff workers, as well as the opportunity to file bankruptcy if this Postal Enhancement Act did not force privatization. Well my Republican postal workers you may losing your retirement and healthcare benefits in the near future not just your job. Thank you again for the Postal enhancement and Accoutability Act.

  • Lee Smith

    The Republican Congressman Ross and Issa have already presented congress with a new commission to close and consolidated postal facilities. The same recommendation the Postmaster General has sent to Congress and the Postal Regulatory Commission. I wonder what these Republican postal workers have plan to say our jobs. Please call your representative in Congress please!!

  • georgeb

    close 35 districts this will save 5 billion ayear

  • Lee Smith

    President Bush and the Republican congress in 2006 was so smart that in the Postal Enhancement and Accountabililty Act that they established that the U.S. Postal Service could hire outside police officers to protect USPS property not postal inspectors. Why would the Postal Enhancement and Accountability Act allow the USPS to hire outside police officer. To protect its property from postal workers thats my guess. So to you Republican postal workers good luck on getting on postal property once its discontinued by the Postmaster General. Please call your representative please!!!!!!!!!

  • CityCarrier

    Can’t employ Vets if we lose a day of delivery.

  • Old Mike

    What about those carriers that are very thankful for being able to work their off days? Maybe you don’t need the extra money ,but many do.If you need time to attend family events, don’t sign the overtime list.In these hard economic times, single people like myself ,with no family need the extra cash ,because we don’t have a backboard.If the post office is saying they need money,cutting service is isn’t going to help. Its like bringing a rope to your own hanging.

  • TBirdTom

    OK, what happens if service is cut back to 5 days ?
    #1. Those customers that want delivery on Saturday ( a lot more than you think ) will find somebody else to deliver on Saturday. UPS & FEDEX will love this. How is it they are making record profits & the postal service is losing money ? 10 holidays per year, How many customer are going to want to wait til Tuesday ? SO THE POST OFFICE LOSES MORE BUSINESS, then what ? They close more Post Offices & P & D.C.’s which causes the postal service to lose even more money, which causes the postal service to close more Post Offices, which causes the postal service to lose even more money,which causes the postal service to close more Post Offices, which causes the postal service to lose even more money, Dizzy Yet ? Around & around we go, where we will stop nobody knows. This is called a death spiral.
    #2. What happens to your job ? If they get rid of 1 out of 6, that 17% will lose their jobs, who will go ? If they go to 5 day service there will be route reevaluations. You have 30 years in you are safe, right ? WRONG ! Seniority won’t save you. If your route is cut, you figure with your seniority you’ll just bid on another. Except remember all of the stations are doing the same thing and 17% of the carriers at all of those other staions also want a job. You might get lucky, but again you maybe even with 30 years end up unassigned & now they send you 50 miles away driving at rush hour to a job at a station that nobody else wants.

  • Russell Landau

    It is sad the president changed his tune as in 2011 he wanted to keep six day delivery.
    Just give back the overpayments from the 2006 law and we will be in good shape and support legislation such as S. 1789, H.R. 1351 and H.R. 3591 which does this by keeping mail for six day delivery without all the closings of post offices and processing plants.
    There are ways to fix the problems without dismantling the service.

    Don’t approve legislation H.R. 2309 which will be the Wisconsin of the Postal Service if it passes and have amendments made to S. 1789 if it comes to the senate as the way it is now it will be a short term fix.

  • Russell Landau

    Parody with Gordon Lightfoot Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald
    Wreck Of The U.S. Postal Service October 4, 2011

    Our Postal Service was founded in 1775 with Benjamin Franklin being our first Post Master.

    The Postal Service is in trouble because of a Bush- era law that requires the Postal Service to pre-fund the cost of retiree’s benefits for the next 75 years in 10 years time.
    No other company or agency in America is required to do this.

    In June 2011 Hangman Darrell Issa and Hangman Dennis Ross introduced H.R. 2309 which will be the Wisconsin of the Postal Service if it becomes law. It will dismantle collective bargaining and forbid payment of severance pay to retirement-eligible employees. And reduce delivery services and close plants and post offices.

    Rep Steve Lynch introduced H.R. 1351 which would prevent the financial collapse of the USPS – without closing thousands of post offices, eliminating hundreds of mail processing facilities, delaying mail delivery, laying off 120,000 workers, cutting postal workers’ pay, or ending collective bargaining rights.

    We are in the fight of our lives but people have voted wrong for too long and done nothing to help preserve their jobs over the years. People tell me it doesn’t matter what we do as we are doomed anyway.

    The Postal Service has its mind made up even before the Area Mail Processing studies are done.

    All we can do is say we went down trying to keep our Eagle from drowning to keep service for the American people and jobs and benefits for the workers.

    Hangman Issa and his GOP cronies will never give up until all services that help us including the Postal Service are bled and dead. Common sense is not in the makeup to improve the economy, only the rich get richer and the poor poorer.

    Private companies will not deliver to the rural areas or inner cities and the elderly will not get their medications.

    We will have a museum of our defunct Postal Service.