Union Calls for Campaign To Defeat Anti-Postal Worker Senate Bill


APWU President William Burrus has called on APWU locals and state organizations to organize opposition to a Senate bill that contains a provision that would be devastating to postal workers. The Postal Service Retiree Health Benefits Funding Reform Act of 2009 (S. 1507) was intended to provide temporary financial relief to the cash-strapped Postal Service, but an amendment to the bill has rendered it unacceptable to postal workers.

Because a vote on the bill is expected early next week, before the Senate adjourns for its August recess, local and state activists must move quickly, Burrus said. The national union will hold a teleconference for local and state leaders on Monday, Aug. 3, at 2 p.m. EDT, to discuss the issue.

“I call on every APWU local to generate messages to their senators based on a 1 to 5 ratio of their members,” Burrus said. “If the bill passes as written, it will destroy collective bargaining for postal workers.”

The amendment would require arbitrators ruling on postal contracts to take into account the “financial health of the Postal Service.”

“Given the severity of Postal Service’s financial crisis, if this bill passes, we can anticipate that in the next round of negotiations, many of the things our members take for granted — such as cost-of-living increases, raises, and protection against layoffs — will be at risk.” Under current law, arbitrators must consider the “comparability” of postal wages to employees in the private sector who perform similar work.

“In fact, arbitrators routinely consider the Postal Service’s financial status as part of the context of negotiations,” Burrus said. “However, to attach this specific requirement to the law leaves workers at a severe disadvantage.

“By singling out this one factor, the amended bill would give the Postal Service’s short-term financial conditions supremacy over all other relevant considerations. It will make the bargaining process subject to all-out manipulation.

“The APWU supported legislation that would have provided the Postal Service with relief from its financial crisis,” Burrus noted, citing the union’s support for H.R. 22. “But relief cannot be on the backs of postal workers who would be forced to accept wages and working conditions commensurate with the USPS deficit.”

Sen. Joe Lieberman (ID-CT) and Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) — the APWU has supported both in the past — favored the amendment, and voted with committee Republicans for its adoption on at a meeting of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs on July 29.

“We are deeply disappointed that lawmakers voted for this reactionary amendment,” Burrus said. “We will do everything we can to defeat it. We must start by generating 50,000 contacts from postal employees to their U.S. senators.”


Monday, Aug. 3, 2009
2 p.m.

Local and state presidents that plan to participate in the teleconference should call 202-842-4250 for the phone number and access code.

Messages to Senators:

For sample messages to senators, visit http://www.capwiz.com/apwu/home/

11 thoughts on “Union Calls for Campaign To Defeat Anti-Postal Worker Senate Bill

  1. Americans at one time had sense. Talk about taking away people jobs and reducing hourly wages is an obvious indication that the super rich and powerful sentors and congresspersons has gotten away with a coup d’etat. American postal workers are being treated like illegal aliens. Maybe we are the illegal aliens of the future. Wake up before it is all over. God is watching.

  2. The postal service is the worse place i have ever work but this mess sounds like it will make it even worse

  3. I’ve been delivering mail for 20 years, & do not make $30 an hour, except for overtime. The people making $12 are the ones who don’t deliver your checks, letters, etc. when you or the people sending you stuff cannot seem to get the right address, or include an apt number. They have not been properly trained, & don’t understand the concept of “service”. Unfortunately, Joe Public does not understand the mass of BS postal employees deal with from management, or the inability of the public to correctly/legibly address an envelope. Nobody remembers the ten letters we delivered to you without the correct address, just the one that got delivered to your neighbor. Those who haven’t walked in these shoes have no idea what our training & experience is worth.

  4. Tom you need to learn to read. I didn’t say you were over paid at $12 to $18, but at $30. Read it again and if you still have problems phone a friend.

  5. I only see a good bill gone bad. Out there are those who would say we are overpaid but as an electronic tech disabled vet I went through years of discrimination and because of my health issues even though I and my family don’t use our employers insurance expect me to take your junk. Overpaid at $12 to $18 dollars and take the senators stab in the back. Get real. Go away. You have no idea what it takes to be a Postal Worker, only how to slap us about. Too bad you could’nt do it to our faces and have a real debate.
    I am out of here and won’t be back to play with children.

  6. I don’t work for the Postal Service. After reading you guys crying, it is a wonder it is still going. Yes, I think $30 an hour is too much. The Postal Service wouldn’t have any problem filling these jobs at $12-$18 per hour, plus benefits. I see so many on this PR crying about their bosses and saying go slow for more dough. Sad very sad. I used to think highly of the mail carriers, now this forum is like a joke around the office. I don’t see too many of you guys quiting and if you do there are 1000s waiting to take your place.
    If your company is loosing money, maybe it is time to privatise the USPS. Norman, judging by your last sentence, you better hope they don’t shut down. Paper routes don’t pay as well as you might find out one day. I just think postal employees has lost a grip of reality. I know of a lot of out of work auto/steel workers who thought that unions were all that and didn’t really care about their company.

  7. Pete really? So you would be willing to be paid less and loss all of the rights, because this would be what would happen if the Unions are gone. As for the bill it is horrable to say the less, but it shows just what they think of working peolpe in this country. It time to tell them all to go to hell.

  8. Jackass. The problem with this is every contract since I’ve been at the PO (’80) they cried poor mouth everytime. We would’ve had no raises for thiry years under this. This is terrible for anyone that actually performs work (craft).

  9. Damn

    You mean they would have to look at the financial impact of the Postal Service…And this is a bad thing? You postal workers need to get a grip on reality before there is no more postal service. Maybe the time and place for unions in a gvermental agency has past.

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