Rolando says only Congress can authorize cutback
NALC launches “5-Day is the Wrong Way” website to keep public informed
WASHINGTON — The national president of the 295,000-member National Association of Letter Carriers union (NALC) today criticized the U.S. Postal Service for arrogantly lobbying the general public with a misleading Internet web site to win approval of elimination of Saturday mail delivery despite the fact that Congress has shown little interest in such a move.
NALC President Fredric V. Rolando said the recently announced postal web site offers misleading information and planning guides for businesses and households regarding its plan to cut Saturday collection and mail delivery services.
“The arrogance of the Postal Service in this campaign to lobby the public to embrace five-day delivery as the answer to the Postal Service’s problem is astounding,” he said. “Given that Congress has shown very little interest in eliminating Saturday service and must approve any change, the Postal Service should focus its energies on real solutions, not risky and counterproductive service cuts.”
“The Postal Service should stand down on this reckless drive to end Saturday delivery,” Rolando added. “It would do more harm than good and it distracts us from the real solution, eliminating the crushing burden of a deeply flawed health benefits pre-funding policy.”
Rolando said the Postal Service’s move has forced the union to set up its own special web site that will provide the news media and general public with complete information on why the proposed change to five-day delivery is the wrong way to go to secure the long-term viability of the Postal Service.
The NALC special web site is http://nalc.org/postal/reform/index.html.
“What makes matters worse is that the Postal Service is sending a very confusing message to Congress,” Rolando said. “Just a week ago, Postmaster General John Potter told a Senate hearing that ‘we wouldn’t have to go to five-day delivery’ if Congress corrected the deeply flawed retiree health pre-funding policy.”
Rolando emphasized that the decision to reduce the level of service and slow mail service in America is not the Postal Service’s to make.
“Only the Congress can authorize this change. The web site and the public relations campaign launched by the Postal Service appears designed to fool mailers and the American people that 5-day delivery is a done deal,” Rolando added.
He said the Postal Service took the outrageous step to launch the deceptive web site:
- Despite the fact that current law requires 6-day delivery and that Congress has not given its approval to the Postal Service’s proposal to cancel delivery and collections services on Saturday;
- Despite the fact that neither the Appropriations Committees nor the Postal Service’s oversight committees have even held hearings on the radical proposal to slow service and destroy 50,000 to 80,000 good jobs in the middle of a jobs crisis; and
- Despite the fact that the Postal Service had not yet filed for an advisory opinion from the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC), which must hold hearings and subject the Postal Service’s questionable financial claims to democratic scrutiny.
Over the past few years, the NALC has led the drive to reform the pre-funding policy. That drive has been assisted in recent months by reports of the Postal Service’s own Inspector General that show that, measured accurately, the USPS surplus in the Civil Service Retirement Fund is large enough to fully fund future retiree health benefits. Fixing this problem would save the USPS at least $8 billion annually — far more than the speculative $3 billion annual savings the USPS claims it can get from reducing service.