Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) officially introduced postal legislation on July 19, which will be voted on by the House Committee of Oversight and Government Reform on July 24. The bill (H.R. 2748 [PDF]) includes some minor modifications from a discussion draft Rep. Issa circulated in June, but is still “deeply disturbing,” APWU President Cliff Guffey said.
Although the revised bill omits the requirement to re-open contract negotiations to immediately eliminate protection against layoffs, which was included in the discussion draft, the revised bill would prohibit postal unions and management from negotiating protection against layoffs in future contracts; increase health insurance costs; limit collective bargaining rights; close post offices, stations and branches; consolidate plants, and privatize operations.
“The legislation as written is totally unacceptable,” Guffey said.
At the national level, union officers are discussing specifics of the bill with legislators and asking them to oppose it. The APWU outlined its objections to the bill in a July 22 letter [PDF] to Rep. Issa and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), the ranking minority party member on the panel.
Legislative and Political Director Gary Kloepfer also urged union members to get involved. “We are calling on APWU members whose U.S. representatives serve on the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to contact them and urge them to vote ‘no’ on July 24,” he said.
“This bill would have a devastating effect on the Postal Service and on postal employees, as well as the American people,” Kloepfer said. “We must do everything we can to stop it.”