The APWU will launch a television ad campaign on July 11, with spots airing on CNN, MSNBC, and FOX, President Cliff Guffey has announced.
The union’s 30-second ad describes the enormity of the job postal workers do, and ends with a simple question and response: Ever wonder what this costs you as a taxpayer? Not a single cent.
“We believe it is important to inform the public about the work APWU members perform,” Guffey said. “We also must dispel the persistent myth that our work is funded by taxpayers.
“With the Postal Service facing a financial disaster, some politicians and pundits have erroneously suggested that the USPS and postal unions are seeking a ‘bailout,’” Guffey said. “Nothing could be further from the truth.”
The ad is intended to support two crucial APWU campaigns, Guffey said: A drive to sign up new union members, which will begin with a National Organizing Week set for July 18-22, and a campaign to win support for legislation that would address the Postal Service’s financial crisis. “The federal government is holding billions of dollars of USPS money,” the union president said. According to studies by two independent actuaries, the USPS has overfunded its pension plans by $50 billion to $75 billion.
The Postal Service’s fiscal crisis is caused by a mandate in the 2006 Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act that requires the USPS to pre-fund the healthcare costs of future retirees, Guffey noted. No other government agency or private company is required to make these payments, which exceed $5 billion annually.
“Our members must contact their members of Congress and urge them to support legislation that would prevent a disaster,” he said, referring to H.R. 1351, which was introduced in the House by Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA). “Unfortunately, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, has introduced a bill that would be devastating for the USPS and postal employees.”
The APWU ad will run for approximately two months on popular national cable news shows on CNN and MSNBC. It will run on FOX for one week.
Locals that wish to supplement the T.V. campaign with local advertising purchases — or with radio ads — should contact APWU Communications Director Sally Davidow, at 202-842-4250. The national union will share the costs of such ads with participating locals.