APWU: Save USPS, Stop Layoffs, Support H.R. 1351
With headlines predicting the imminent demise of the Postal Service — and management brazenly exploiting the crisis to attack postal employees — the APWU is asking union members to contact their members of Congress and urge them to take action to save the USPS and protect our jobs.
A brochure with that message will be sent to every APWU member in the next several days — so look for it in your mail.
The pamphlet includes a postcard recipients can sign and mail to legislators to make sure members of Congress get our message. The postcards will include the appropriate name and mailing address of each union member’s U.S. representative. Every APWU member should fill it out, affix a 44-cent stamp, and send it in.
As the mailing notes, a battle is brewing on Capitol Hill over what to do about the USPS financial crisis. One thing is clear: We are in the fight of our lives. Our jobs, our pay, and our benefits are in danger!
The USPS is asking Congress to enact legislation to remove postal workers and retirees from the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program and federal retirement plans; allow management to lay off 120,000 employees, and effectively eliminate our right to collective bargaining. In September, the Postal Service will default on a $5.5 billion payment to the Treasury.
Some members of Congress are using the budget crisis to attack our rights, while ignoring other methods of fixing the problem.
In June, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Rep. Dennis Ross (R-FL) introduced H.R. 2309, which would be devastating for the Postal Service and for postal employees. It would accomplish many of management’s goals, but it would do nothing to correct the cause of the Postal Service’s economic difficulties: It would do nothing about the billions of dollars in USPS overpayments to its pension accounts, and it would do nothing to correct the 2006 congressional mandate that requires the Postal Service to pre-fund the healthcare benefits of future retirees. (No other government agency or private company bears this burden, which costs the Postal Service more than $5.5 billion per year.)
On the other hand, H.R. 1351, introduced by Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA), would allow the USPS to use the billions of dollars in pension overpayments to meet its financial obligations. It would address the cause of the USPS financial crisis without cutting pay, reducing benefits, eliminating collective bargaining rights, or slashing service. However, word on Capitol Hill is that Rep. Issa is blocking consideration of H.R. 1351. Tell your congressional representative: Oppose H.R. 2309_ or legislation like it — and Support H.R. 1351!