Starting next year, Republicans will be forcing big cutbacks in mail service so they can say government doesn’t work, and make the case for privatizing our U.S. Postal Service. Friday is a day of action to tell Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe and the USPS Board of Governors: Stop Delaying America’s Mail!
Republicans have been trying to force the Post Office – USPS – out of business.
- They passed a law required the USPS to pre-fund all pensions for the next 75 years – for potential employees who are not born yet.
- Unlike other government agencies (like the military) since 1970 the Postal Service is required to “break even” – in other words, to make money from providing a service to We the People. (Note: The Department of Defense is certainly not required to break even.)
- While requiring them to break even, they said the USPS can’t do a number of things to help them compete with FedEx, UPS and others. The Postal Service can’t raise rates at will but has to deliver mail to areas that are unprofitable for private companies to operate in. For the price of a 49-cent stamp, you can send a letter from a small town in Alaska across the country to a farm in Maine. (And in a democracy, this is a good thing!)
- Republicans have blocked the Postal Service from entering new lines of business. They forced them to remove copying machines. They blocked them from setting up a secure online system that allowed Americans to make monthly bill payments. This is because the Postal Service would have advantages over companies like FedEx and UPS. In other words, they are being hamstrung, while required to break even.
- And then after hamstringing the Postal Service – requiring them to pre-fund pensions for 75 years and deliver a first-class letter across the country for less than half a dollar – Republicans say this is an example of how government doesn’t work.
Republicans don’t talk about governing; they talk about killing government, and when they get power they don’t govern, they destroy government. (P.S. FedEx political “contributions”. More here. UPS political “contributions.“)
I talked about the manufactured crisis in the Postal Service on The Matthew Filipowicz Show in February 2013.
Next, Republicans are forcing big cutbacks in service so they can say government doesn’t work. The following is from the American Postal Workers Union (APWU):
Stop Delaying America’s Mail!
On Nov. 14 postal workers across the country will come together for a National Day of Action to tell Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe and the USPS Board of Governors: Stop Delaying America’s Mail! Please join us! Whether you are postal employee, a small business owner, an individual customer, or someone who simply wants the U.S. Postal Service to survive and thrive, please get involved!
The Postmaster General is poised to make devastating cuts in service to the American people – cuts so severe that they will forever damage the U.S. Postal Service.
- On Jan. 5, the USPS is slated to lower “service standards” to virtually eliminate overnight delivery – including first-class mail from one address to another within the same city or town.
- All mail (medicine, online purchases, local newspapers, church bulletins, letters, bill payments, invitations) throughout the country will be delayed.
- Beginning Jan. 5, 82 Mail Processing & Distribution Centers are scheduled to close.
These cuts will cause hardships for customers, drive away business, cause irreparable harm to the U.S. Postal Service, and lead to massive schedule changes and reassignments for employees.
They are part of a flawed management strategy that has unnecessarily sacrificed service and failed to address the cause of the Postal Service’s manufactured financial crisis.
- More than 140 plants have closed since 2012;
- As a result, mail is delivered much later in the day, well into the evening;
- Retail work is being sent to Staples, at more than 1,500 stores throughout the country;
- Door delivery is being eliminated in most new housing developments;
- Chronic understaffing frustrates customers and slows the mail, and
- Six-day delivery is under constant threat.
The four postal unions are joining forces to protect service, fight for our livelihoods, and defend our great national treasure, the U.S. Postal Service. We have many allies in the fight against the proposed changes, including more than half the Senate and 160 U.S. Representatives.
Are the Cuts Inevitable?
The Nov. 14 date was selected because it coincides with the USPS Board of Governors’ last public meeting of 2014. On that day, the board will release the USPS financial reports for the fiscal year, and undoubtedly will once again bemoan “billions of dollars in losses.”
In fact, the USPS has earned more than $1 billion in profit from operations this year. The “losses” are the result of a bogus pre-funding requirement and have nothing to do with the cost of collecting, sorting and delivering mail.
On Friday, Nov. 14, help send a message to the Postmaster General and the Board of Governors: Stop Delaying America’s Mail!
For more information, visit StopMailDelays.org