APWU Urges Postal Commission To Save Saturday Service
Testifying at a Las Vegas field hearing, APWU Western Region Coordinator Omar Gonzalez urged the Postal Regulatory Commission to reject the USPS proposal to end Saturday delivery. The plan will “hasten the call for elimination of the private express statutes and legal monopolies, which ensure quality postal services at affordable prices,” he said.
Addressing the commission on May 10, Gonzalez said that eliminating Saturday delivery would lead to an erosion in the public’s confidence in the Postal Service, and an even greater reduction in mail volume and declining revenue.
“We do not agree nor support the USPS Board of Governor’s action approving the Postmaster General’s plan to end six day delivery,” Gonzalez testified [PDF]. “The estimated savings of $3.1 billion per year will not offset the billions of dollars in revenues that will be diverted from postal coffers by millions of Americans seeking alternatives.”
Gonzalez said that the Postal Service’s projected loss of $238 billion over the next 10 years is spurious, and noted that while mail volume may never return to 2006 levels, the economy is showing signs of rebounding — including signs of growth in parcel delivery for the Postal Service.
Lawmakers should strongly consider ending the Postal Service’s obligation to pre-fund retiree healthcare liabilities, a requirement included in the 2006 Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, he said. Modest but steady increases in mail volume, coupled with repeals of “unreasonable requirements to pre-fund retiree health benefits will go a long way to stabilizing the Postal Service,” Gonzalez said.
“At a time when the USPS should be exploring every available means to increase volume and revenue, including compliance with contracts, regulations and statutes, the seriously flawed effort to cut services will only undermine the viability of postal services in this country.”
The Las Vegas hearing was the first of seven scheduled field hearings, where the PRC hopes to receive public input on the USPS initiative to eliminate Saturday delivery. Other witnesses included Yul Melonson, the Las Vegas District Manager for the USPS; Rich Griffin, Vice President of the Nevada State Association of Letter Carriers; as well as representatives from Postal Solutions, Inc., Southwest Gas Corporation, and Medco Health Solutions.
“The commission has developed a disciplined schedule to ensure a timely, thorough review of the Postal Service’s proposal,” PRC Chairman Ruth Y. Goldway said in an April 28 press release. “Our process will provide multiple opportunities for the public to be heard and for all the facts to be considered before the Commission issues its Advisory Opinion.”
Additional field hearings will take place in Sacramento, Dallas, Memphis, Chicago, Rapid City (SD), and will conclude on June 28 in Buffalo, NY.