March 11, 2014–Declaring that “the U.S. Postal Service is under unprecedented attack,” the four postal unions have formed an alliance to fight back to preserve America’s postal service for the benefit of the public.
“A congressionally manufactured financial crisis drains the USPS of vital resources,” the union presidents wrote in a proclamation (PDF). “Six-day delivery is under constant threat of elimination. The reduction of service standards and the elimination of half of the nation’s mail processing centers have slowed service and wiped out tens of thousands of good jobs. Post offices in cities and small towns are being sold or closed or having their hours cut back.
“Corporate privatizers seek to gain control over larger segments of postal operations–and to get their hands on the Postal Service’s $65 billion of annual revenue. The postmaster general’s policies of subcontracting and degrading service are fueling the privatization drive,” the proclamation declared.
“We stand with the people of our country in defense of their right to a universal postal service operated in the public interest.”
The goal of the alliance is to enlist public support in preserving the national treasure that is the U.S. Postal Service. The USPS is based in the Constitution, provides Americans with the world’s most affordable delivery network, and is operationally profitable without using a dime of taxpayer money.
The proclamation was signed by National Association of Letter Carriers President Fredric Rolando, American Postal Workers Union President Mark Dimondstein, National Postal Mail Handlers Union John Hegarty and National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association President Jeanette Dwyer.
Read more: Postal unions form alliance; Declaration promises joint efforts.
The Mail Handlers Union has provided this list of aspects of the GOP’s government shutdown, and how they may impact mail handlers and other postal workers:
(October 4, 2013) As a result of the ongoing government shutdown, please make note of the below captioned list of government managed benefits and their possible impact on Mail Handlers. We will continue to monitor the impact of this action on federal agencies. If the shutdown is prolonged, additional information will be compiled, updated, and distributed as warranted. Read More
On September 18, 2013 President Hegarty notified Local Presidents of an unfair labor practice filed by the NPMHU against the United Stated Postal Service. Specifically, the Union asserts that the USPS violated Sections 8(a)(1) and 8(a)(2) of the Act through the unlawful formation and domination of labor organizations in the form of so-called Lean Mail Processing Teams. As of now, the matter is being investigated by Region 5 of the NLRB in Baltimore, MD, with NPMHU witnesses scheduled to be interviewed next week. Additional details will be disseminated to the Locals as appropriate.
Follow link for more information and a copy of the charges filed with the NLRB.
National Postal Mail Handlers Union President John F. Hegarty addressed the AFL-CIO National Convention in Los Angeles yesterday- here is a summary of his remarks:
President Hegarty commented that the NPMHU with support from other postal union affiliates of the AFL-CIO have worked to build broad public coalitions to resist more damaging austerity in the Postal Service and to build support for sensible reform.
Such reform has been proposed in Congress: The Postal Protection Act of 2013—S. 316 in the Senate and H.R. 630 in the House.
This legislation should be adapted and adopted to do the following:
• Stabilize the Postal Service’s finances by reforming or eliminating unwise and unfair pension and retiree health financing policies that have crippled the Postal Service’s finances since 2006;
• Strengthen and protect the Postal Service’s invaluable mail processing, retail and last-mile delivery networks that together comprise a crucial part of the nation’s infrastructure; and
• Free the Postal Service to meet the evolving needs of the American economy and to set its prices in a way that reflects the cost structure of the delivery industry while assuring affordable universal service and protecting against anti-competitive practices.
The Postal Service is a national treasure that can play an important role in our future. Its networks are invaluable and should be used to address pressing national problems. The universal geographical reach of its 30,000 post offices could be used to provide financial services to the 40 million Americans who lack access to basic banking services, provide low- cost remittance services to immigrant workers, finance a National Infrastructure Bank to help rebuild our nation and create millions of jobs, and provide public Internet access and other media and technology services to underserved communities. With a federal vote-by-mail statute, the Postal Service could be the answer to voter suppression across the country while boosting voter turnout the way it has in Oregon and other states that conduct elections through the mail. The Post Office can be re-imagined as a platform for state and local services in rural and inner city areas that lack access to services. We should not only save the Postal Service, but also reinvent it for the 21st Century.
The AFL-CIO and its affiliated unions are called on to help mobilize the entire labor movement and our allies in the progressive community to defeat the forces of austerity and anti-unionism in the debate over postal reform. We must repeal the pre-funding mandate, free the Postal Service to diversify its services, and use the Postal Service’s unique networks to address other national problems by enacting legislation that promotes innovation and growth, not downsizing and decline.
Follow this link for more information
From the National Postal Mail Handlers Union:
The NPMHU and USPS have finalized the text of the 2011 National Agreement as compelled by the February 15, 2013 Award of the Board of Arbitration. The term of the contract is four and one half years in duration (November 21, 2011 through May 20, 2016). The contact was recently sent to the Union printer and will be distributed by mail to each NPMHU member in the coming weeks.
In anticipation of that delivery, you may access a complete .pdf version of the National Agreement by following this link.