Postmaster General Pat Donahoe held a press conference today to announce his intention to end Saturday delivery on Aug. 5, 2013, even though current law mandates six-day delivery. Carriers will be subjected to stand-up talks today on the unilateral decision.
The PMG is dubiously claiming that a “loophole” in the law will allow him to do this. NALC denounces Donahoe’s arrogant decision and is calling for him to step down. We are exploring all legal and political options to block Donahoe’s gambit.
If he were allowed to get away with this brazen attempt to override the law and the will of Congress, he would be free to go to four-day or even three-day delivery in the future.
Donahoe’s plan to end Saturday delivery is a disastrous idea that would have a profoundly negative effect on the Postal Service and on millions of customers. It would be particularly harmful to small businesses, rural communities, the elderly, the disabled and others who depend on Saturday delivery for commerce and communication.
Slowing mail service and degrading our unmatchable last-mile delivery network are not the answers to the Postal Service’s financial problems. If the postmaster general is unwilling or unable to develop a smart growth strategy that serves the nearly 50 percent of business mailers that want to keep six-day service, and if he arrogantly thinks he is above the law or has the right to decide policy matters that should be left to Congress, it is time for him to step down.
This maneuver by Mr. Donahoe flouts the will of Congress, as expressed annually over the past 30 years in legislation that mandates six-day delivery, which remains in effect today. In the last Congress, which ended in January, a bi-partisan majority of representatives co-sponsored legislation backing the continuation of Saturday delivery.
This misguided and counterproductive decision is in keeping with the postmaster general’s slash-and-shrink approach to dealing with the Postal Service’s financial challenges. Instead of offering a real business plan to tap the full potential of this essential American institution, he is offering a plan that will doom USPS to failure.
The National Association of Letter Carriers has tried time and again to work with Postal Service management to pursue growth measures and cost savings, but it has become clear that the Postal Service leadership’s only strategy is to gut the unique postal network that provides us with the world’s most affordable delivery service, and to eliminate the services on which Americans depend.
America’s letter carriers condemn this reckless plan in the strongest terms. We call for the immediate removal of the postmaster general, who has lost the confidence of the men and women who deliver for America every day. And we urge Congress to develop a real reform plan that gives the Postal Service the freedom to grow and innovate in the digital era.