AFL-CIO Transportation Unions Focus on Stopping Outsourcing At USPS

(Press Release- Sept. 20, 2007) The Executive Committee of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO, committed today to make priorities of rebuilding America’s failing transportation system and infrastructure, stopping outsourcing at the United States Postal Service, and protecting the income and retirement security of public transit workers.

The United States Postal Service is jumping on the outsourcing and privatizing bandwagon at the expense of good jobs, safety and security, and reliable delivery of basic services.

According to a new USPS program, all new mail delivery locations will be considered for outsourcing to companies that often provide low wages, no benefits, and have no equivalent background check requirements. This program and other attempts to outsource core mail handling functions violate the spirit of the policy established by the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006, which reinforced collective bargaining obligations. In its effort to employ fewer union workers, the USPS is opening its doors to a far less accountable workforce.

“In this post-Anthrax era, it is counterintuitive that the USPS would entrust any portion of its service with unscreened subcontractors,” Wytkind said. “Mail can be sensitive cargo, and Americans expect first-class service for their bills, ballots, and prescription drugs, not to mention their identity protection.”

As Congress struggles to fund our nation’s mass transit systems, cuttinq employee pay and limiting pension programs should not be conditions for financial support. Legislation to fund Washington, D.C.’s mass transit system has been amended to cap overtime pay and exclude overtime pay from pension calculations. Management and workers agree that the real culprit of excessive overtime is inadequate staffing levels.

“Arbitrary limits on overtime pay do nothing to fix the problem, and they also run roughshod over collective bargaining agreements,” Wytkind said. “Congress should not micro-manage labor-management relations, but instead, allow employers to focus on inadequate staffing levels by hiring enough employees to meet scheduling and service requirements.”

For the full policy statements on each of these issues, please visit