By Fredric V. Rolando, President
National Association of Letter Carriers
Congratulations to all who worked so hard for NALC’s endorsed candidates in this year’s elections. Thanks to you, the new Congress will be much better for letter carriers and working people than the current Congress.
Unfortunately, the current Congress still has work to do before it adjourns and we have no time to rest. The lame-duck session of the 112th Congress began this week and it’s clear that both active and retired letter carriers still have a lot on the line. Budget talks that could affect the Postal Service and our retirement and health benefits are now taking place between President Obama and the leaders of Congress. We also learned this week that the chairmen and ranking members of our committees in the House and Senate are meeting behind closed doors to negotiate a “compromise” postal reform bill before the end of the year.
We strongly oppose action on postal reform during the lame-duck session of Congress. Both of the House and Senate bills, H.R. 2309 and S. 1789, are deeply flawed measures designed to downsize (Senate) or dismantle (House) the USPS—at a cost of tens of thousands of our jobs.
Press reports indicate that Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT), the retiring chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, is proposing to immediately suspend letter mail delivery on Saturday but retain parcel delivery six days a week. Billed as “compromise,” it still would eliminate 25,000 city carrier jobs and drive more business away from the Postal Service by undermining the value of our service. Moreover, stand-alone parcel delivery would not be generally profitable on Saturdays if parcels were not delivered along with letters and flats. This is not a compromise at all, nor would it secure the future of the Postal Service since it does not address the crushing retiree health pre-funding burden.
I need you to call both of your senators as well as your House member at their local district offices between this Monday, Nov. 19, and Wednesday, Nov. 21. (Click here to get these local phone numbers.) For those living here in North Carolina, you can contact Sen. Richard Burr here and Sen. Kay Hagan here.
Please deliver two brief messages:
- Tell them to oppose any action on postal reform until next year; we oppose the adoption of any backroom deal designed to slash service and destroy jobs at the Postal Service.
- Tell them that federal and postal employees already have sacrificed over the past four years with pay freezes and other job cuts, and tell them that they should oppose in the fiscal cliff negotiations any discussion of cuts to federal pensions and health benefits.
Please urge your co-workers who are not e-Activists to make these calls as well. NALC will use every means to keep you informed in the days and weeks ahead. If we all do our part, we can protect our jobs and the future of the Postal Service.