APWU Condemns USPS Proposals To Destroy Collective Bargaining, Crush Postal Workers

APWU President Cliff Guffey has condemned USPS legislative proposals that would destroy the collective bargaining rights of postal workers and interfere with the union’s contract, which Postal Service and the APWU agreed to in March.

Guffey made the statement in response to USPS announcements [PDF] that it would seek congressional support for legislation to eliminate protection against layoff from collective bargaining agreements; remove postal workers from the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP), and separate USPS employees from federal retirement programs.

“The APWU will vehemently oppose any attempt to destroy the collective bargaining rights of postal employees or tamper with our recently-negotiated contract,” Guffey said. “Crushing postal workers and slashing service will not solve the Postal Service’s financial crisis.

“As we have pointed out many times,” he added, “postal employees are not the cause of the crisis.

“The USPS economic crisis is the result of a provision of the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006 that requires the Postal Service to pre-fund the healthcare benefits of future retirees — a burden no other government agency or private company bears.” The mandate requires the USPS to fund a 75-year liability over a 10-year period and costs the USPS more than $5.5 billion per year.

Guffey also pointed out that “the federal government is holding billions of dollars in postal overpayments to its pension accounts.”

“Congress must address the cause of the Postal Service’s financial crisis so that postal workers can continue to serve the American people and the USPS can continue to act as an important engine of the U.S. economy,” he added.

“There are some in Congress who may support these proposals,” Guffey noted. “But we will not allow the hard-working men and women of the U.S. Postal Service to be made the scapegoats for the outrageously poor judgment of Congress in instituting the pre-funding requirement.

“Congress created this mess,” he said, “and Congress can fix it.”

Guffey reiterated his call for postal employees to contact their U.S. representatives and urge them to support H.R. 1351, and oppose H.R. 2309.

H.R. 1351 would address the cause of the USPS financial crisis without cutting pay and benefits, he noted, without eliminating collective bargaining rights, or slashing service. The bill, introduced by Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA), would:

  • Allow the USPS to use billions of dollars in pension overpayments to meet its financial obligations — including the congressional mandate to pre-fund the healthcare benefits of future retirees.
  • Leave workers’ collective bargaining rights intact. It would make no changes to wages, benefits, or protection against layoffs.

By contrast, H.R. 2309, introduced by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and co-sponsored by Rep. Dennis Ross (R-FL), would:

  • Do nothing to correct USPS overpayments to its pension accounts.
  • Do nothing to correct the congressional mandate that requires the USPS to pre-fund the healthcare benefits of future retirees.
  • Force postal workers to make up the difference:

                >Ensure that Postal wages are “comparable” to the private sector.

                > Empower a board to unilaterally cut wages, abolish benefits, and end protection against layoffs.

  • Create a commission that would order:

                $1 billion worth of post office closures in the first year, and

                $1 billion worth of facility closures in the second year.

  • Increase employees’ costs for healthcare and life insurance, and eliminate the right to bargain over these crucial benefits.

5 thoughts on “APWU Condemns USPS Proposals To Destroy Collective Bargaining, Crush Postal Workers

  1. Hey, if we are to win this battle, we must stick togerther ! We must support our union president. We are the people and we speak for the people and we must never let these few elected tea party politations break our union contract. The american people need to know that the hard working employee is not the reason the postal service is insolvent . It’s these few tea party congressmen in-charge who are the one’s who are trying to break the postal service. With their doomsday fabrications. Step aside doomsayers let the postal service take care of It’s self.

  2. WOW lay off 120,000 more people in a ecomony thats already hurting …The Postmaster has got to go. I don’t believe that as long as someone in the Post Office is in charge it will never change. They cover there good Old Boy Network Brass and Supervisors. You need to start at the Top of the food chain and continue down to correct the Post Office. If you are not touching the mail we don’t need ya. Top much Brass and Supervisor. NO Golden Handshake for Brass just see you later. STOP Buying, Fixing and Hiring Casual if you have to many people why hire more. Even at the lower rate its doesn’t help. Its not the workers salarys that are killing the Post Office. They move the mail……..

  3. I agr ee 60’s dude. The trickle down theory of republican economics never came to fruition. The rich have kept all the money over the years. The job creators have not done their job. They talk about getting spending under control and blame Obama but who were the reckless spenders over the last 10 years.

  4. Absolutely no difference between Repubics and Democomies. There is no defining line when it comes to self-interest. They make a good game of it with a war of words, but both parties want the same objective; for both parties to retain power over the working and non-working classes. The revolution that is to come will make 1776 green with envy.

  5. The Rethublikkkans are destroying what made this country great in the 20th century, THE MIDDLE CLASS.

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