APWU President Cliff Guffey is urging postal employees to ask their U.S. senators and representative to support the Postal Service Protection Act (S. 316 and H.R. 630).
“This legislation would go a long way toward solving the Postal Service’s financial crisis. It would make many of the planned cutbacks in service unnecessary, give postal employees a greater sense of security, and give the American people a Postal Service they can count on for the future,” Guffey wrote in a mailing to union members, non-members and retirees.
“Our members must make sure that lawmakers — and the public — realize that widespread plant closings will delay mail every day, in cities and towns across the country,” he said.
“Plant closures have already forced the USPS to eliminate 25 percent of overnight mail delivery. Another round of closures will cripple service, further weaken this great American institution, make it less relevant, and make it less competitive.
“Some of our members may be asking, ‘Didn’t we already do this? Haven’t we already asked legislators to support postal reform?’ The sad fact is that Congress’ failure to pass a bill last year means that legislation introduced before Jan. 1 died,” Guffey said.
“So we must mobilize support for the new bill. The future of the Postal Service is at stake, and action by postal workers in essential,” he added.
Many local and state presidents will attend the APWU National Presidents’ Conference in Washington DC March 2-4. While they are in the nation’s capital, they plan to meet with senators and representatives and ask them to support this crucial legislation, Guffey noted. Union members must support these efforts by contacting members of Congress as soon as possible, he said.
The union president is encouraging postal workers to contact members of Congress by phone, mail or e-mail to request that legislators support the Postal Service Protection Act. The bill introduced in the Senate by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and in the House by Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR).
The Postal Service Protection Act would:
- Fix the Postal Service’s immediate financial crisis by ending the mandate that requires the USPS to pre-fund healthcare benefits for future retirees — a burden no other government agency or private company bears;
- Allow the Postal Service to recover overpayments the USPS made to federal pension plans;
- Re-establish overnight delivery standards for first-class mail, which would ensure the timely delivery of mail, help keep mail processing facilities open, and protect jobs;
- Protect six-day delivery;
- Allow the USPS to develop new products and services that would generate new sources of revenue, and
- Protect post offices by giving the Postal Regulatory Commission binding authority to prevent post offices from being closed based on the effect on the community and the effect on the employees.
“Locals and state organizations have done a great job organizing our members,” Guffey said. “At this critical juncture, the fight to Save America’s Postal Service must continue!”