APWU: ‘Modified’ Consolidation Plan Is More of the Same
Union Members Must Fight Back, House Must Act Now
APWU News Bulletin 15-2012, May 17, 2012
USPS management announced [PDF] on May 17 that it would begin implementing a “modified” consolidation plan immediately, but the “new” plan [PDF] employs the same essential strategy as the old plan: Impose drastic cuts to service and the mail processing network, and eliminate tens of thousands of jobs. The only difference is that the “new” plan will take a little longer to complete.
“The Postal Service’s announcement provides new evidence that union members must contact their U.S. representatives and urge them to address postal reform immediately, using the recently-approved Senate bill as a starting point for discussion,” said APWU President Cliff Guffey. “Slashing the postal network will destroy service, drive away customers, and weaken the USPS,” he said.
“The situation is urgent. We are asking local union leaders to arrange meetings with their U.S. representatives during the Memorial Day recess, which begins May 21,” Guffey said. “We are urging rank-and-file union members to attend as well. It is imperative that as many union members as possible are involved.”
The USPS intends to consolidate 48 plants [PDF] between now and Aug. 31, take a break for the fall mailing season, and consolidate another 92 plants [PDF] beginning in January 2013. During Phase 2, which management expects to complete by the end of 2014, the USPS intends to consolidate an additional 89 plants. The “new” plan would eliminate 229 plants. In February, the Postal Service announced it had approved 223 plants for consolidation, with decisions still pending on six.
“This is essentially the same plan management proposed last fall,” Guffey said. “It will reduce the mail processing network by half.”
The plan is expected to eliminate 28,000 jobs.
The Postal Service also intends to proceed with plans to degrade service standards, with an interim change effective this summer and more drastic reductions in service in 2013.
“Postal officials seem to be ignoring the wishes of numerous members of Congress who asked the USPS to postpone consolidations until after postal reform legislation is enacted,” the union president said. “And they are proceeding without the benefit of an advisory opinion from the Postal Regulatory Commission, which is required by law.
“Postal managers are also disregarding evidence that was revealed during commission hearings: Reducing service standards will drive away customers.” During the proceedings, the Postal Service admitted that a secret study indicated that revenue losses could virtually wipe out projected savings from consolidations if service standards were reduced.
“We will not stand by while postal managers destroy the USPS,” Guffey said. “We will join with the American people and elected officials to stop them.”