By Richard Thayer
For those of you who have collected signatures on petitions and have written and called your representatives concerning the various issues affecting the Postal Service who are wondering, “Does all this work actually do any good,” or, “Am I wasting my time doing this? Is anyone in Washington listening?” The answer to those questions is yes, no, and yes. Yes, the work you’re doing to educate your representative in Washington is doing good; no, you’re not wasting your time; and, yes, they are listening.
Case in point–Tuesday afternoon our good friends at postal headquarters in Washington, DC announced a five-month moratorium on closing post offices and mail processing plants.
Despite what you might think, they didn’t do this because they thought it was the right thing to do, nor did they do it out of the goodness of their hearts.
They did it in large part because 22 senators sent a letter to Congress requesting it. As a result of the pressure being placed on it, the Postal Service finally agreed to it. The moratorium will put a hold on the closing of these facilities until May 15, 2012.
The moratorium is like an adult (in this case many adults) taking a sharp object away from a child fearing it will do itself bodily harm, and then giving the object back to the child five months later.
Back in September, the illustrious leader of the Postal Service, PMG Patrick Donahoe, announced plans to review its mail processing network and then shutting down hundreds of facilities in a misguided effort to save money. Their plan includes eliminating overnight delivery, cutting thousands of jobs, disregarding unions’ bargaining agreements, and pad-locking 3,700 post offices and 252 mail processing plants.
If you would like to read what 15 of the 22 senators had to say in defense of saving the Postal Service from itself, you may go here.
To see the Postal Service’s terse response to the agreement, you may go here.
And to read the letter that was sent to congressional leaders, go here.
These congressmen and women asked Congress to intervene because thousands of concerned citizens from their respective states have been sending them signed petitions, writing and calling them demanding that they do something to save our nation’s postal service.
So, keep doing what you’ve been doing because it’s working.
This issue of saving the Postal Service shouldn’t be a partisan issue, subject to partisan politics, something we’ve seen a lot of over the past year. Allowing the Postal Service to use its own money (we’re talking billions of dollars) to resolve its financial problems should be a relatively easy problem to solve: just undo what Congress did back in 2006.
So if this isn’t a partisan issue, how come 21 of the letter’s signers are Democrats and one is Independent?
(Photo, from left to right: NALC Branch 630 member Paul Amos, 6th District Congressman Howard Coble, and NALC Area Four Representative Richard Koritz.)