Thanks to the thousands of NALC activists who wrote or telephoned their members of Congress, recruited community allies for the March 24th rallies and generally mobilized the public to fight plans to dismantle the Postal Service, we scored a key victory in April.
After Congress adopted a continuing resolution to fund the government through the rest of the current fiscal year (ending Sept. 30, 2013) that maintains the decades-old mandate on the Postal Service to provide six-day mail delivery, Postmaster General Pat Donahoe refused to say whether he would follow through on his earlier threat to ignore the will of Congress and implement the move to five-day service in August. Fortunately, the Postal Service’s Board of Governors decided on April 10 to back down on the PMG’s threat and wisely decided to obey the law, responding to the public outcry we generated and following the legal advice issued by the Government Accountability Office (GAO).
It seems the Board (perhaps following the lead of the PMG) is not content to accept the will of Congress and let the democratic process work to decide the future of the Postal Service. Instead, it decided to engage in a bit of payback. The Board directed the postmaster general to seek to reopen the Postal Service’s labor contracts with its unions just weeks after we received the Das arbitration award. It also called on the Postal Service to request rate hikes on newspapers and periodical mailers. What connects these two actions? Both are directed at parties that have most strongly resisted the PMG’s disastrous “shrink to survive” business strategy.