From the National Rural letter Carriers Association:
Today, as federal employees gather on Capitol Hill, National Rural Letter Carriers’ President Jeanette Dwyer will give brief remarks, connecting the painful sequester budget cuts to the artificial fiscal crisis facing the U.S. Postal Service. Below is an excerpt of her remarks:
“In a political environment plagued by self-created crises, fiscal cliffs, and sequestration, it is truly critical that organizations like ours stand strong and work alongside one another. Because just as wage freezes and budget cuts threaten the livelihoods of federal employees across the country, an artificially-constructed budget crisis has been foisted upon the U.S. Postal Service, threatening to drown this essential and historic institution in billions of dollars in red ink.
“Roughly 80% of the Postal Service’s losses over the past six years stem from burdensome pre-funding requirements to the Future Retiree Health Benefits Fund, a requirement placed on no other government or private institution. While we can all agree that the Postal Service should provide for its retirees, we should also agree that paying for 75 years of benefits over 10 years in simply unreasonable. Allowing the Postal Service more flexibility to make these payments would bring it back from the brink of destruction and allow it to thrive in the 21st century.
“Instead, too many ill-informed persons will continue to spout off about how the Postal Service needs to “modernize” or how the Internet and new technology has left the Postal Service defunct. In an already weak economy, they propose laying off tens of thousands more employees and cutting service, instead of talking about expanding service and finding new and innovative methods to generate revenue for the Postal Service.
“Unfortunately, just last month, the Postmaster General joined this chorus, calling for the elimination of six-day mail delivery. With questionable opinion polls and flimsy numbers, he’s launched a one-man lobbying and PR campaign to convince Congress that he has the right to slash service unilaterally, without permission from any branch of government. But in his quest to tear-apart the foundation and competitive advantage of the Postal Service, he apparently forgot to check the law, which says he is required to provide six-day mail delivery.
“Over the coming weeks and months, it is critical that we continue our work to advocate on behalf of federal employees and postal workers, as well as the families and communities that have felt the pain of budget cuts in cities and towns across the country. Only by working together in solidarity can we protect our hardworking men and women, retirees, and the American economy from a Congress seemingly intent on inflicting as much pain as possible though the draconian slashing of budgets.“