Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe: Iceberg! Iceberg! Full Speed Ahead!

sinking shipThere are some carriers who are actively talking up the elimination of Saturday mail delivery in their post offices. They want the weekends off. Those carriers have eye problems: they have tunnel vision and they’re near-sighted.

They also have “I” problems. They’re so focused on themselves that they can’t see beyond the tips of their own noses.

It’s all about the Big Three: Me, Myself and I.

But what they don’t seem to understand is that the battle the NALC and the other postal unions are waging against the postmaster general and certain members of Congress has more to it than just the elimination of Saturday mail delivery. Much more.

The postmaster general’s obsession with ending Saturday delivery is just the tip of the iceberg, a humongous iceberg that threatens to smash a hole in the hull of the U.S. Postal Service.

To follow that metaphor a little further, ponder this: The captain of the ill-fated British ship, the RMS Titanic, ignored a number of warnings that ultimately sealed the ship’s fate and the fate of 1,502 people on board that luxury liner.

The captain of the USPS on the other hand isn’t merely ignoring the warnings of an impending collision with an iceberg, he knows where the iceberg is and despite that knowledge, he’s purposefully navigating the ship toward it, with the intention of sinking it.

And, as if that wasn’t bad enough, he has members of the crew ripping holes in the hull just in case the iceberg doesn’t make a big enough gash.

At this very moment, as we steam toward that iceberg, the Postal Service, with the attitude of ‘the public be damned,’ is frantically closing area post offices and selling them. In addition, it is also consolidating mail processing facilities all over the country. The PMG has assured the public that this won’t adversely affect mail service but you and I know that to be a lie.

It’s obvious from the PMG’s actions since taking office that he doesn’t care about the ship, the passengers or the crew. Like those carriers I mentioned earlier, the PMG is near-sighted and has “I” trouble. He is a very short-sighted man.

The difference between Patrick Donahoe and the self-centered carriers is that he will get much more than just Saturdays off. Yes, the captain of the Titanic went down with his ship. But don’t expect the captain of the USPS to go down with his ship. Oh, no. This captain already has prepared for himself a golden lifeboat. When this ship starts to go down, he will be one of the first one’s off.

Adios, suckers!

It will be every man, woman and child for themselves.

And then once the ship has disappeared from sight into the murky waters, a new ship will be built. But this one won’t be built by the government. No, this new one will be built by corporations. And there may be several ships instead of just one.

These ships will be private and they’ll be for profit. You think 46 cents is a lot to pay for a first-class stamp? You ain’t seen nothing yet.

That mail box on your house? Kiss that baby good-bye. Oh, and there’s a good possibility you can kiss that one at the curb good-bye too, especially if you live in a rural area. It will cost too much to drive out there so you’ll have to come to a designated centralized location.

When the Founding Fathers established our postal service it was primarily for “service,” not profit. The emphasis was and is on service, not profit. But there are those in Washington, our illustrious captain among them, who thinks this idea of service over profits is a waste of valuable resources.

We’re now living in the era of austerity in America. The overriding philosophy of those in government is that we’re hurting financially, so instead of investing money in projects that would create employment and ultimately would add money to our national treasury, we are cutting jobs, cutting employment.

Our PMG has, unfortunately, adopted Congress’s misguided plan for prosperity, slashing and burning post offices and mail facilities and–they hope–Saturdays.

And later, according to the captain, we will cut yet another day.

And then, another.

“Asked about the long term, Donahoe said, ‘At some point, we’ll have to move to three’ days a week of mail delivery, possibly in 15 years,”–USA Today, July 19, 2011.

Those carriers who’re now eagerly anticipating having weekends off, may not be so happy when they have an additional day off and a cut in pay. And a cut in benefits.

Then again, there are those who say, “I don’t care. I’m going to abandon ship before it sinks. I’ve put in 30 plus years, I’ve got my pension.”

I’ve got news for you. When you jump ship, that life-vest you’re wearing–your pension and Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare–it’s not going to be fully inflated. There are those in

Congress right now who are working to let the air out of your life-vest. Have you ever tried floating in water with a deflated flotation device?

Wave to Leonardo DiCaprio on your way down.

It’s up to you and me–active and retired letter carriers–to keep the ship afloat. The answer is political activism. Call and write your representatives today and tell them to support S.316 and H.R. 630, the Postal Service Protection Act.

This is the solution to the USPS’s crisis, not the elimination of Saturday delivery and thousands of jobs.


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