Senate to Vote on Postal Reform Bill
APWU Web News Article 44-2012, April 24 , 2012
The Senate will vote on the 21st Century Postal Service Act (S. 1789) on Tuesday, April 24, with action expected to begin at approximately 2:15 p.m.
Senators will be asked to consider a revised version of the legislation, which the bill’s sponsors introduced on April 17, along with up to 38 other amendments.
“It is crucial that APWU members let their senators know where we stand on this important bill,” said APWU President Cliff Guffey. “With the moratorium on the closure of mail processing plants and post offices set to expire on May 15, we must do everything we can to improve the legislation,” he said.
“The revised bill is better than the original,” he said, “but it doesn’t do enough to ensure the USPS will be able to continue to provide the service the American people have every right to expect.”
The revised bill does not provide sufficient protection for current service standards, Guffey said. “It offers some safeguards, but it does not maintain service standards at current levels. Furthermore, the protection would expire after three years,” he noted.
“USPS officials have demonstrated that they will attempt to slash service, close hundred of mail processing facilities, and shut thousands of post offices — unless Congress stops them,” he said.
For that reason, the APWU is urging members to contact their senators and ask them to support several critical amendments. An amendment offered by Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) would maintain current delivery standards for four years. The amendment (#2042) would not prevent all consolidations, but it would stop the USPS from implementing its “slash and burn” strategy, Guffey said.
The union is also asking APWU members to seek support from their senators for an amendment (#2056) submitted by Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) that would modify the process for closing or consolidating post offices and postal facilities.
The APWU is also asking union members to encourage their senators to support an amendment (#2034) offered by Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-HI) to replace provisions that would be financially devastating to thousands of postal and federal employees who were injured on the job and who receive compensation from the Office of Workers Compensation Program (OWCP).
“The union supports numerous other amendments,” said Legislative and Political Director Myke Reid. “At the national level, we will be weighing in with senators and staff on the others.” The three mentioned above are the most important to APWU members, he said.
“After the amendments have been voted on, we will evaluate the bill and decide whether we can support the final product,” he said. “Please remain vigilant. We will provide additional information as it develops.”
They’re At It Again!
Right-wing labor haters are at it again! Among the amendments submitted are:
A proposal by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) to eliminate collective bargaining and another to end the USPS monopoly on first-class mail; an amendment by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) to require retirement-eligible employees to retire and another to establish “alternatives to post offices;” and an amendment by Sen. John McCain to adopt the hated House bill H.R. 2309.
The APWU response? NO WAY!
Click here [PDF] to read a section-by-section summary of the revised bill.