APWU Web News Article 45-2012, April 24 , 2012
The Senate began voting on amendments to the 21st Century Postal Service Act (S. 1789) on April 24, with action on the bill expected to be wrapped up in the Senate on April 25.
Still to be voted on is Amendment #2042, offered by Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA), which would maintain current delivery standards for four years. The amendment would not prevent all plant closures, but it would stop the USPS from implementing its “slash and burn” strategy to close or consolidate more than 200 mail processing facilities, shut 3,600 post offices, eliminate overnight delivery of first-class mail and generally slow mail delivery, said APWU President Cliff Guffey.
The APWU supports the amendment, and is urging union members to contact their senators before 2 p.m. on Wednesday, April 25, to ask them to vote in favor of the measure. “There is still time to contact both of your senators to ask them to support Sen. Casey’s amendment,” said Legislative and Political Director Myke Reid. To send your senators a message in support of this amendment, click here.
“USPS officials have demonstrated that they will attempt to slash service — unless Congress stops them,” Guffey said.
Action on Amendments
Among the votes taken on April 24 were the following:
Senators voted in favor of Amendment #2056, offered by Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT), which would modify the process for closing or consolidating post offices and postal facilities. The APWU supported the amendment, which was approved by a voice vote.
The senators voted against Amendment #2034, by Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-HI), which would have replaced provisions that would be financially devastating to thousands of postal and federal employees who were injured on the job and who receive compensation from the Office of Workers Compensation Program (OWCP). The APWU supported the amendment, which was disapproved by a vote of 46-53.
Senators adopted Amendment #2020, offered by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), which would require the Postal Service to consider the effect of closing or consolidating a postal facility on the ability of the affected community to vote by mail. This amendment, which the APWU supported, passed by a voice vote.
Sen. Tom Coburn’s (R-OK) Amendment #2061, which would require retirement-eligible employees of the Postal Service to retire, was defeated by a vote of 33-65. The APWU opposed the amendment.
Sen. Corker’s (R-TN) Amendment #2083 also was voted down, by a vote of 29-70. It would have prohibited “no-layoff” clauses from postal collective bargaining agreements; removed a provision from current law that ensures benefits for employees cannot be lower than those in effect in 1971, and required a switch to five-day mail delivery. The APWU opposed the amendment.
Amendment # 2033, offered by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), which would have established a BRAC-like (Base Realignment and Closure) Commission on Postal Reorganization. This amendment, which the APWU opposed, failed with a vote of 30-69.
Amendment #2043, offered by Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM), to strike provisions that call for the Postal Service to go to five-day service in two years, was defeated by a vote of 43-56. The APWU supported the amendment.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) offered Amendment #2025, which would end the mailbox use monopoly, which the APWU opposed. The amendment was defeated by a vote of 35-64.
Click here [PDF] to read a section-by-section summary of the revised bill.