NALC Endorses Hillary Clinton for President

From NALC e-Activist Network:

Fredric Rolando, president of the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC), released the following statement regarding the NALC Executive Council’s endorsement of Hillary Clinton for president of the United States:

Following a tremendously hard-fought primary process, NALC is proud to endorse former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to serve as the next president of the United States.

Secretary Clinton has a long history of supporting the issues most important to letter carriers—a strong Postal Service, collective-bargaining rights for postal employees and decent pay and benefits for all American workers. She has been a friend of NALC since her first meeting with us in 1994.

Former Sen. Clinton was among the first in the Senate to support legislation to prohibit the contracting out of letter carrier jobs to low-wage private contractors, a bill that helped us stop the practice in 2006. She has defended six-day delivery, supported federal employees and was an original co-sponsor of the Employee Free Choice Act.

NALC is proud to once again stand with Hillary, just as it did when she ran for president in 2008.

This year, we had the good fortune of seeing two tremendous champions of letter carriers compete for the Democratic Party’s nomination for president. In fact, both have been made honorary members of the NALC by delegates to our national conventions. As I informed our members in March, based on the issue surveys we sent to both parties’ candidates and the polls we conducted among our 280,000 members and activists, both Secretary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders earned our support. Out of respect for both candidates and the passionate supporters each has in our union, we decided not to endorse either until the primary process produced a nominee. That has now happened.

We commend Sen. Sanders—who also is a long-time friend and a fierce advocate for letter carriers in Congress—for running a fantastic campaign. The energy and passion that he brings to politics have ignited a national conversation and moved the needle in our national debates about inequality, wage stagnation and the power of corporate interests in our democracy. NALC intends to continue fighting alongside Sen. Sanders to strengthen our employer, our political system and our country.

This endorsement was not a difficult one to make, given the two choices before us. Leaving aside his anti-worker record as an employer, his dishonesty and erratic temperament, and the bigotry and sexism he has demonstrated as a candidate, Donald Trump showed blatant disrespect to America’s letter carriers. In our endorsement process, he not only failed to answer our candidate questionnaire, he would not even acknowledge receiving it. Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, has demonstrated her commitment to letter carriers and has dedicated her entire life to public service. Few candidates have ever been better prepared for the Oval Office.

There is a lot at stake on Tuesday, Nov. 8—for our country, our jobs and our families. Starting in the key battle ground states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida, Wisconsin and Nevada, NALC and America’s letter carriers are ready to unite behind Hillary Clinton to make this great country even greater.

Help ‘Stamp Out Hunger’ This Saturday

From NALC e-Activist Network

The 24th annual Letter Carriers’ Stamp Out Hunger® Food Drive is this Saturday, May 14. The food drive, sponsored by the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC), is the world’s largest one-day food drive, taking place in more than 10,000 cities and towns in all 50 states, U.S. territories and the District of Columbia.

Participating in the food drive couldn’t be easier. Before their regular mail pick-up on Food Drive Cartoon 2016Saturday, May 14, postal customers are asked to leave bags of non-perishable food items by their mailboxes. Letter carriers will pick up the bags and—with help from retired letter carriers, other postal employees and countless volunteers—deliver the bags to local food agencies.

Hunger affects about 50 million people around the country, including millions of children, senior citizens and veterans. Pantry shelves filled up through winter-holiday generosity often are bare by late spring. And, with most school meal programs suspended during summer months, millions of children must find alternate sources of nutrition.

Because the nation’s 175,000 letter carriers visit every address in the country at least six days a week, we see the struggles in the communities we serve, and we believe it’s important to do what we can to help.

The food drive’s national partners are the U.S. Postal Service, the National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, United Way Worldwide, the AFL-CIO and Valassis.

Award-winning actor Edward James Olmos is this year’s national spokesperson, the star of food drive–promoting public service announcements (PSAs) for TV and radio in English and Spanish. Broadcast-quality versions are available here.

In its 23 years, the Stamp Out Hunger food drive has collected more than 1.4 billion pounds of food; last year’s drive collected approximately 71 million pounds.

In a new addition to this year’s food drive, letter carriers are teaming up in a few targeted areas with Amp Your Good to get healthy fresh fruits and vegetables to local food banks. Postal patrons living in San Francisco, parts of New York City and Greenwich, CT, can go to to donate fresh produce throughout the month of May.

To learn more about the Letter Carriers’ Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive, visit and follow the drive on Facebook, Twitter and  And be sure to use the hashtag #StampOutHunger when talking about the food drive on social media.

Advisory: NALC’s President Rolando to testify before Senate hearing tomorrow

NALC President Fredric Rolando is scheduled to testify today (January 21) before the Senate’s Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee during a hearing titled, “Laying Out the Reality of the Postal Service.”

The hearing should begin at 9:30 a.m. Eastern Time. President Rolando’s testimony is set for the hearing’s second panel.

You may view a webcast of the hearing live on the committee’s website. Click here for the link.

NALC: Medicare Premiums Set to Spike in January; Call Your Representatives


NALC Legislative Dept.

As NALC members may have heard, the Social Security Administration recently announced that there would be no cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for 2016. As a result, Medicare Part B premiums and deductibles are set to spike beginning this January. Fortunately, legislation to fix the issue has been introduced in both the House and Senate. Click here to read about the bills. All NALC members should ask their House and Senate members to co-sponsor these bills to correct this injustice to federal and postal retirees. Please call the Capitol Switchboard at (202)-224-3121 to get started.

Also of interest:

Budget deficit reduction bill

This past week, House lawmakers passed a package that would repeal parts of the 2010 Affordable Care Act law dealing with the individual and employee mandates, the 2.3 percent tax on medical devices, the upcoming tax on high-cost employer plans and the soon-to-be implemented mandate of automatically enrolling new full-time employees in health care coverage. The bill also would block funding for Planned Parenthood for one year while providing funds to community health centers for women’s health care. The bill seeks to reduce the deficit by $85.9 billion over 10 years. The White House issued a statement of administration policy pledging to veto the package. Click here to read more.

NALC President Fred Rolando: Defending the Mailbox From Privatization.

Bernie Sanders Addresses Postal Union to Decry USPS Privatization.

We Knew It All Along

It’s hard to believe that the purpose behind the 2006 legislation requiring the Postal Service to pre-fund its health benefits for its retirees 75 years into the future was anything other than a veiled attempt at driving nails into the agency’s coffin and then resurrecting the decomposing corpse into a private, profit-making corporation. Why else would Congress require the USPS to pay $5.6 billion into such a fund over a 10 year period? It certainly wasn’t intended to benefit the agency’s retirees. Postal Service_Stop Delaying America's Mail_newson6Politicians, especially those of the past 20 years or so, have had little regard for federal workers and federal retirees.

Many of our politicians see federal workers—that is you—as unnecessary and a drag on the economy. After all, as a letter carrier and a union member, you make more than the minimum wage, you have decent benefits—like health insurance—and a pension when you retire. Shameful!

No, the intent of the 2006 Republican-led lame duck Congress was clear: suck the life-blood out of the Postal Service. Use the pre-funding money to shore up the U.S. Treasury while at the same time insisting that the Postal Service is irreparably broken and the only way to save it is to privatize it.

We understand that many politicians act at the behest of lobbyists who, in turn, act at the behest of large corporations with deep pockets. For decades the Postal Service has been a cash cow for the U.S. government. There are those in the private sector who would like for that cow to be theirs.

What’s so alarming is the fact that it’s not just politicians and other money-hungry individuals who are working hard to transform a service-oriented agency into a money-making corporation. Not only has there been a concentrated attack on the Postal Service from without, but also—incredibly—from within.

Just as it’s hard to believe that the 2006 lame duck Congress had the best interest of the Postal Service and the American public at heart when it passed the crippling pre-funding mandate, it’s equally hard to believe that upper level postal management, and past postmasters general, are concerned about preserving this valuable American institution. After all, they have been fighting tooth and nail to have it dismantled one post office and one mail processing plant at a time. It has become a prolonged ‘Going Out of Business” sale.

It’s been nearly a decade now since the pre-funding debacle and the USPS, no thanks to Congress or postal management, is still afloat. And you wouldn’t know it from much of the media or postal management, but the Postal Service is actually making a profit. Last year it made a $1.4 billion operating profit. And this year it has already eclipsed that figure.

Refusing to acknowledge that the agency is recovering from the earlier recession and is making an operating profit, the Postal Service continues to pursue plans to reduce its effectiveness. To that end, back in 2012, under the leadership of then postmaster general Patrick Donahoe, the Postal Service began Phase 1 of its “network rationalization” plan to “streamline” and make the USPS more efficient.

The streamlining plan involved cutting the hours of 13,000 small post offices, closing hundreds of other post offices and consolidating 150 mail processing plants.

Anyone who had made a passing grade in business school knew this wasn’t going to work. Even people who hadn’t gone to business school knew it wasn’t going to work! There’s no way you can improve service by cutting it, the people said. The network rationalization plan is not rational, they said. It flies in the face of common sense. Don’t do it!

Former postmaster general Patrick Donahoe was the perfect voice and face of the Postal Service. He was an extremely arrogant and hard-headed man. And the Postal Service was like that long before he became its leader. It is a culture of arrogance.

Ignoring the voices of reason on every side, the Postal Service began closing post offices and consolidating its mail processing plants.

The result? Chaos.

The most recent report from the Postal Service’s Office of Inspector General reports what we knew would happen, the mail is being delayed all over the country. No state, no city, no town, no one is exempt. The OIG reports that mail arriving late to its intended destination has increased by 50 percent since 2014. And 2014 was a bad year as well.

Mail has been delayed at such an alarming rate that the OIG issued an urgent alert to the USPS last month recommending that it stop closing its plants until service stabilizes. Says the OIG: “The impact on customer service and employees have been considerable.”

There are some things that are so obvious that even postal management can’t ignore them. At some point in their ingenious streamlining plan they began to realize that, yes, closing mail processing plants was having a negative effect on mail delivery, it was being delayed.

In light of this startling reality, what does management do? Can you guess?

If you thought they went back to their drawing board and reevaluated their plan, you would be wrong. That’s not how they operate up there in D.C.

No, instead, they decided to lower their delivery standards! And so it was that in January of this year they eliminated overnight delivery for local first-class letters. It will now take an extra day to get there. And mail traveling longer distances will take an additional day, or two, or three, or…

But as the Washington Post reported in August, the USPS is now struggling to even meet its own lower standards! What will they do now, lower their delivery standards even further?

But there is hope. Even though management has turned a blind eye and deaf ear toward its employees and the American public, members of Congress—to their credit—have not. They are listening to you, their constituents.

Last year Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) started a campaign called “Fix My Mail” after hundreds of her constituents wrote or called her complaining of late deliveries, non-existent deliveries, mistakes with mail forwarding and shortened hours at their local post offices. Three other senators have joined her in introducing legislation called the Rural Postal Act. The main requirement of the legislation would be that the Postal Service restore its service standards so mail reaches its destination in a timely manner.

At least one presidential candidate has weighed in on the issue. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) says that the Postal Service has caused “a disaster that is negatively impacting Americans all over the country.”

In a letter to PMG Megan Brennan he wrote: “I have heard from people all over the country who have reported serious delays in receiving life-saving prescription drugs, and the bills they need to pay to keep the lights and electricity on in their homes.

This delay means that some of the most vulnerable people in the country are going without the medications they need, or they are being forced to travel long distances because they cannot rely on the timely delivery of mail.”

Unlike in 2006, today’s representatives in Washington are listening to their constituents. Call and write and make your voice heard. And ask your customers to do the same.

(photo credit:

NALC: ‘Fast Track’ déjà vu

Stop Fast Track 9NALC Legislative Dept.

This past Thursday, the House of Representatives cleared a stand-alone Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) bill—better known as “Fast Track.” The move came as a result of the crushing defeat of a package of trade bills in the House where Fast Track failed to advance beyond the House because it was packaged with a trade adjustment assistance measure that went down in flames.

Last week, House leaders—who have been relentless advocates, alongside President Obama, for pushing trade agreements—resorted to a new approach that tied the Fast Track bill to a measure intended to allow fire fighters access to their own retirement savings once they reach retirement age. The bill measure was approved by a vote of 218 to 208, with no notable shifts in opposition or support by House members.

Fast Track now heads to the Senate, where its fate remains unclear. Last month, the Senate voted in favor of advancing a full trade package that included Fast Track and three other bills: a trade adjustment assistance bill (TAA), a bill with provisions covering enforcement for Customs and Border Patrol, and the African Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA).

AGOA is a trade preference program designed to facilitate investment and trade between the U.S. and parts of Africa. It’s a seemingly non-controversial measure that has received broad bipartisan support in both chambers, although some members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) have requested that AGOA not be used as a ploy to get Fast Track passed. (Click here to read the CBC’s letter.)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who gained the support of 14 Democrats the last time the Senate considered a Fast Track package, now will need 11 to advance a Fast Track–only measure this week, followed by consideration of a separate package that includes AGOA and an extension of TAA.

However, a handful of Democratic senators have signaled their uncertainty on this particular Fast Track measure for several reasons. Some want to consider the full package of trade proposals, some are insisting that TAA be repackaged first, and some are insisting on a separate vote to reauthorize yet another measure: the Export-Import Bank, another highly contentious issue in trade package consideration that many House Republicans oppose.

For now, the Senate is expected to vote on a stand-alone Fast Track bill Tuesday or Wednesday. If that passes, it will be delivered directly to President Obama.

If your head isn’t spinning yet, keep reading.

Senators then will take up the package of trade preferences and TAA, setting up a final vote on those on either Wednesday or Thursday. If these measures pass, they will need further consideration by the House before advancing further. House lawmakers have given themselves until July 30 to find a way forward—but there seems to be a great deal of uncertainty at the moment.

“I don’t see a path right now for TAA,” said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who voted against Thursday’s stand-alone bill and also against the package deal. “The overwhelming vote last week to slow down ‘fast track’ trade authority is a clear indication that it’s time for Republicans and Democrats to work together to negotiate a better deal for the American people.”

“Unfortunately, our battle against Fast Track is far from over,” said NALC President Fredric Rolando, who encouraged letter carriers to keep checking the website for updates and to make sure they’re signed up as e-Activists to get news delivered right to their inboxes.

ACTION ITEM: NALC encourages all letter carriers to keeping thanking the House members who voted against Fast Track and against TAA. Letter carriers also are encouraged to let their senators know about NALC’s opposition to consideration of these bills.

“Members of Congress need to know that letter carriers appreciate their support,” said Rolando. “They also need to know that enough is enough. It’s time to move on to more pressing issues before they depart for the August recess.”

Click here to read NALC’s statement prior to last week’s House vote.

Click here to read more about last week’s vote and to find out why Fast Track would be dangerous for letter carriers and the Postal Service.

Click here to read a letter from the presidents of NALC, APWU and NPMHU urging a “no” vote on Fast Track.

NALC: House Rejects Trade Package–But Will Try Again Next Week

Stop Fast Track 2NALC Legislative Dept

On Friday, the House of Representatives voted to reject a trade adjustment assistance (TAA) bill, a move that essentially shuts down legislation that would have granted the president the authority to approve trade agreements without first giving Congress a chance to review or amend such agreements.

A procedural move in the House earlier this week required representatives to first consider TAA. Only if it had been approved would the House have been able to consider the more contentious Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) bill—better known as “Fast Track.”

TAA was voted down by vote of 302 to 126, even after President Obama personally visited Capitol Hill to lobby for its support. Afterward, House leaders approved a stand-alone trade promotion bill, but under House procedures, the combined TAA-TPA trade package had already received Senate approval, so it could not advance to Obama’s desk unless the House approved the entire package.

Republican leaders in the GOP-majority House had also worked with Obama to pass the trade bills. But enough Republican defections, coupled with a general lack of support from Democrats, helped scuttle the measures.

“We want a better deal for America’s workers,” said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).

Rep. Sander Levin (D-MI) added that the trade package had included “no meaningful protections whatever against currency manipulation” by some of the nations with whom America trades—manipulation that, in the past, “ruined millions of middle class jobs.”

What does Friday’s vote mean?

“(Friday’s) vote represents a clear victory for all of this country’s workers,” NALC President Fredric Rolando said. “Trade agreements should be negotiated out in the open, where Congress can be scrutinize and amend them if necessary.

“If this entire package of reforms had passed,” Rolando said, “not only would it have allowed this and future presidents to review and approve trade deals in secret, it could have opened the door for a whole host of new threats against the U.S. Postal Service.”

The importance of Friday’s vote

Friday’s vote also was important because, if the package had been approved and eventually signed into law, it could have paved the way for approval of a number of potentially dangerous trade agreements:

  • Under the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) that’s now being negotiated, corporate banks could use the deal to get the governments that sign on to it to ban the ability to offer financial services. This would prevent USPS from generating new revenue by using its vast postal retail network to offer low-cost banking services for the tens of millions of Americans who are unbanked or under-banked.
  • During negotiations for an agreement called the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) deal, for example, European Union nations have been calling on the U.S. to follow their lead and phase out the Postal Service’s monopoly on the delivery of letter mail—a direct threat to all postal workers’ jobs and to our system of affordable universal service.
  • The Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) that is now being negotiated with the World Trade Organization contains language that, if approved, could threaten our ability to keep package delivery service as part of USPS’ universal service obligation. Package delivery has been crucial to the Postal Service’s financial recovery in recent years.
  • Language in TiSA also could ultimately result in calls to privatize our Postal Service, potentially affecting the viability of a service that’s older than the United States itself and that has its roots in the Constitution.

“Thanks in part to the many calls from members of the NALC and our fellow AFL-CIO unions over the last few days,” Rolando said, “these particular threats have been set aside for now.”

But there’s plenty more to do

“While we know that our work on Capitol Hill is far from finished,” Rolando said, “we can take pride in knowing that organized labor still has a voice, and a say, in how things work in Washington. We will need to stay just as vigilant, and just as vocal, as new postal reform measures get introduced in the coming weeks.”

What’s next?

As previously mentioned, House leaders have until Tuesday to bring up TAA to again try to advance the package of bills.

If your House member voted against these bills, thank them for supporting letter carriers.

Most importantly, please thank those who opposed TAA and ask them to maintain their position, if a vote comes up again by Tuesday.

Also of interest:

The Secrets and Lies of the Trans-Pacific Partnership

Thank You to Those Who Voted Against the TPP, However the Fight is Not Over

After Trade Vote Fails, Obama Pleads With Lawmakers To Reconsider