Largest Postal Union Calls on Senate to Reject S. 1789 As Currently Drafted

WASHINGTON, March 26, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — National Association of Letter Carriers President Details Union’s Concerns about Legislation in Letter to U.S. Senators

Fredric V. Rolando, president of the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC), has formally called on the U.S. Senate to reject S. 1789 — the 21st Century Postal Service Act — because as currently drafted, it provides only short-term fixes. He said that while the measure “might provide resources to allow the Service to limp along for a few more years, it will not change the downward trajectory of this vital institution.”

In a letter sent today to each U.S. senator, Mr. Rolando stated, “S. 1789 appears to be based on the Postal Service’s dangerously misguided business strategy, which relies almost exclusively on reducing the quality and value of its services to households and American businesses, the main users of the mail.” He added that it risks driving away customers and thereby reducing revenues. To read the letter, click here:

Mr. Rolando said NALC has “no choice but to oppose S. 1789.”

Rather than settle for harsh and counterproductive reductions in key services as S. 1789 would do, Mr. Rolando said, “What the Postal Service needs is a business plan based on a comprehensive rethinking of the institution, one that asks for shared sacrifice from all stakeholders but also allows this vital national resource to grow and prosper in the years ahead.

“Until a plan of this nature exists, it is dangerous to advance reform legislation, particularly when the legislation will do nothing but facilitate the Postal Service’s decline,” he told senators.

Mr. Rolando noted that just last week, a USPS witness before the Postal Regulatory Commission acknowledged that a study ordered — but later stopped — by the Postal Service on its own plan for service reductions indicated that the “combined effects of all the service cuts under consideration, including the elimination of Saturday delivery (and 80,000 delivery-related jobs), would reduce mail volume by an extraordinary 10.3 percent.” The practical effect of such a drastic reduction in mail volume means that the cuts could exceed the projected savings.

NALC represents 284,000 USPS letter carriers, about a quarter of whom are military veterans.

Other key points from Mr. Rolando’s letter about the flaws in S. 1789:

It fails to adequately address the single biggest cause of the Postal Service’s recent financial distress, the mandate imposed by Congress in 2006 that the Postal Service pre-fund future retiree health insurance benefits. That mandate — required of no other government agency or private business — has cost USPS $21 billion over the past five years. It is money that could have been used to restructure USPS in light of changing economic, technological and social needs. The Senate bill would reduce that funding requirement, but “any burden at all is indefensible at a time when 150,000 jobs are at risk,” Mr. Rolando said.

It fails to let the Postal Service introduce new products and services that take full advantage of its unique “last-mile” delivery network. Nor does it provide the Postal Service flexibility to price its services appropriately.

While Mr. Rolando acknowledged that some provisions in the bill have merit, such as the return of the Postal Service’s surplus in one of its two pension plans and the limited allowance for the Postal Service to use its networks to generate new revenues (e.g., the delivery of beer and wine). Unfortunately, he said, the bill is too deeply flawed otherwise and — unless fundamentally revised — should be rejected.

SOURCE National Association of Letter Carriers

NALC Letter to Senators on S 1789

7 thoughts on “Largest Postal Union Calls on Senate to Reject S. 1789 As Currently Drafted

  1. Vote no on the S.1789 bill until it is modified with better provisions for Postal workers! Blue collar workers, not white collar workers! Wherein workers will not be forced to retire, and for retirement pensions will still be paid mostly by the Postal Service, not another burden on middle and average class working citizens! Stop putting more and more on the average working american back! Put it on the wealthy where they are refusing to pay their fair share!

  2. Develop new revenue by delivering beer and wine? How about furniture and appliances, including free setup?
    The part of the business that is growing is parcels. USPS spent $1.4 BILlION on flat sorters( bulk catalog sorters, the magazine biz is declining) and not a dime on conveyors or overhead scanners to make parcel handling more efficient. We have 2 clerks hand scan 1 package at a time incoming, and 1 clerk to throw them to the routes, work that could/should be at the plant. Sadly, neither Management or the Union have any good ideas- they are both out of touch.

  3. Nalc is correct. those who disagree are either on the verge of retirement or uninformed or both. Our country deserves a future for the P.O. just as the military has been helped we should be helped, if General Motors can be helped then why shouldnt the nations own post office be helped ?

  4. NALC is wrong. They are inviting the draconian “Issa” bill in the House by rejecting the amended S.1789 in the Senate. Or they are allowing the PMG’s radical plan to be implemeted after May 15th. Maybe both.

    Negoitiations are best done from a position of strenght, something the NALC nor any of the postal unions have or will have moving forward.


  5. From the National Association of Letter Carriers:
    NALC: Breaking: Senate will take up S. 1789 after Easter recess: Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) announced Monday evening that the Senate would not be taking up consideration of S. 1789, the 21st Century Postal Reform Act, until sometime in mid-April after Congress’ Easter recess. Lieberman is chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and one of the co-sponsors of S. 1789, along with Sens. Tom Carper (D-MA), Susan Collins (R-ME) and Scott Brown (R-MA). “Thank you to the more than 50,000 NALC members who took part in Sunday’s national teleconferences,” NALC President Fredric Rolando said, “and thank you to the thousands of letter carriers and allies who, over the past two days, flooded Senate offices with calls to voice our Support to this bill. It’s this unparalleled level of commitment that will help us win the fight to preserve the Postal Service for decades to come. We hope that senators will now use this extra time to carefully analyze the Service’s financial problems, so that when the Senate resumes its business after the break, it will be prepared to work on a real Early Retirement Incentives , to add to the 25k and years offered currently” Click here to find out how you can still contact your senators and urge them to support the bill in its current form.
    via NALC | The National Association of Letter Carriers, AFL-CIO

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