The Senate voted today to begin the slow dismantling of the United States Postal Service and to attack injured postal workers by slashing their workers’ compensation benefits. The NALC has argued for months that S. 1789 would fail to preserve the long-term viability of the Postal Service because it embraces the downsizing plans of Postmaster General Pat Donahoe. Today, by voting against an amendment offered by Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM) to preserve six-day mail delivery (by a vote of 56 to 43), and by rejecting an amendment offered by Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-HI) to prevent deep cuts to federal employee workers’ compensation benefits (by a vote of 53 to 46), the Senate has failed to improve a deeply flawed bill.
Despite more than 25,000 phone calls from NALC members around the country today (generated by our tele-town hall meeting Sunday) urging senators to adopt these amendments, too many senators ignored our calls and rejected the amendments we supported. Now we have no choice but to strongly oppose final passage of S. 1789, a vote on which is expected tomorrow in the Senate. We cannot give up the fight for positive reform; we must persevere. So our first task must be to do everything we can to defeat the 21st Century Postal Service Act when it comes up for a final vote tomorrow.
I write to urge you and every city letter carrier to call 1-888-863-6103 to be connected to your two senators’ offices. Tell your senators to vote “NO” on S. 1789.
I know you share my deep disappointment with today’s action on the amendments. But we cannot let that disappointment diminish our energy or silence our voices. We must send a message to our representatives in the Senate that we cannot save the Postal Service by dismantling its greatest asset—the last-mile delivery network that our members make real every day. And no reform can justify the punitive workers’ compensation reforms shoe-horned into this bill. We’ve been knocked down, but we have to get up right away and continue the fight.
Call 1-888-863-6103 and tell your senators to vote “NO” tomorrow on final passage of S. 1789.
Whatever happens tomorrow in the Senate, the fight to save America’s Postal Service will go on. A bill doesn’t become law until both houses of Congress pass it and the president signs it. We have a long battle ahead of us. If we stay together and mobilize all of our resources, we can prevail.