There have been a surprising number of editorials and news stories in the media this past week about the Postal Service, and even more surprisingly, many of them have spoken out against how the Postal Service plans to save money by cutting back on service. Many of those commenting on these plans are able to see what Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe and some in Congress cannot (or will not) see: by cutting service they will ultimately destroy the U.S. Postal Service. Despite everything else that NALC President Fred Rolando has on his plate, he also had time to address the issue in at least two of the nation’s papers. Below are just a few of the stories and comments we have gleaned from the past week.
From the New York Times–President Rolando writing under the title “Crippled by a Mandate,” highlights that for lawmakers to develop appropriate solutions to the losses the Postal Service is facing, they should turn first to the true cause of the problem.
In last Thursday’s Atlanta Journal-Constitution President Rolando offered his take on the Postal Service’s problems by urging Congress to address the 2006 pre-funding fiasco, which accounts for the vast majority of Postal Service losses, while he dispels some of the most popular myths about the causes of the so-called crisis.
The Hill–One of Capitol Hill’s news publications widely read by Congress and congressional staff members reported on Friday about a letter circulated in the Senate in support of a six-month moratorium on mass postal facility closures until Congress can get its act together. Several Senate Democrats signed the letter, which Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) authored.
Postal Workers Rally Against Cuts–The ABC affiliate in Chicago reports that a monthly meeting of letter carriers this past Thursday turned into a rallying cry against cuts proposed by the U.S. Postal Service. Said Mack Julion, president of NALC Branch 11, “We are the United States Postal service–you don’t take the ‘service’ out of the service.”
Prescription for Disaster–That’s the title for this opinion piece from the Times Free Press. “The operation was a success but the patient died. That perhaps apocryphal phrase from the realm of medicine can be applied to the United States Postal Service’s proposal to resolve its financial problems.”
Editorial: Rooting for the U.S. Postal Service to Find a Sustainable Business Plan–From NJ.com: “This week, officials of the U.S. Postal Service proposed a plan to consolidate 252 processing facilities so that personal service might continue. While we’re glad to hear that the Hamilton regional post office is not among those slated for closing, up to 3,000 jobs hang in the balance at the N.J. mail-processing facilities that might shut down…”
From the Virginian-Pilot--“For more than a year now, the U.S. Postal Service has sounded the alarm about the financial crisis that is slowly but surely killing it. The one group with the power to help stave off disaster couldn’t pretend to be less interested.”
From the LA Times–“The U.S. Postal Service could hardly have come up with a worse solution to its financial problems than its proposal to slow first-class delivery to the point of irrelevance.”
Tom Dennis writing in the Grand Forks Herald–“Within 30 days of proposing to make Americans wait longer for less mail service, the Postal Service got thousands of comments. The vast majority of people didn’t like the idea. So, how has the Postal service responded? By moving forward with the plan anyway.”
An editorial in The Great Falls Tribune–“We’ve occasionally wondered if, in the course of soliciting public comments on this plan or that, government bureaucrats weren’t just paying lip service to the idea of citizen involvement. It’s a question that surely occurs to anyone who comes out on the opposite side of a government decision. But rarely has that lip-service treatment been more crassly evident than in the U.S. Postal Service’s decision announced Monday to proceed with plans to make snail mail even slower, backing off on the promised speed of delivery of first-class mail.”
From the Star Press–“Among the few specified powers of the federal government authorized by the Constitution is the establishment of post offices and postal roads. It can be argued that following the Constitution to the letter means home delivery of mail could be ceded by the federal government to the private sector. Trouble is, no private entity has stepped forward clamoring for a piece of that action.”
Consumer advocate Ralph Nader writes–“The battered national consensus behind a national universal postal service–conceived by Benjamin Franklin–is heading for a free fall due to bad management, corporate barracudas and a bevy of editors and reporters enamored with the supremacy of the Internet which makes up their world.”
Steve Hutkins, editor of the popular blog “Save the Post Office,” writes in the New York Times–“This plan to close 250 processing plants, on top of plans to shutter 15,000 of the nation’s 32,000 post offices and slash 225,000 postal jobs, will do nothing but hasten the Postal Service’s downward spiral.”
I write in a Letter to the Editor in the High Point Enterprise–“If you were driving down the highway and saw someone standing on the railing of a bridge preparing to leap to their death, what would you do–drive on by and let them jump, or stop and try to talk them down? The U.S. Postal Service is now in the process of committing suicide and it hopes you won’t try to intervene.”
Click here for a point-by-point guide to help you spread the truth about the Postal Service and the need for immediate congressional action.
Click here to find out how the NALC Communications Department can help you get the NALC’s message out.
How are you doing with those petitions? If you haven’t gotten yours yet, go here. Signatures to date: 888,958 with a goal of 1 million by December 31.
Have a great weekend!