Postal Unions Condemn Latest House GOP Service-Cutting Scheme

WASHINGTON– U.S. Postal unions are condemning the ruling House GOP’s latest scheme to cut U.S. postal services.

But, brushing aside unions and Democrats, the House Governmental Reform Committee approved the measure, eliminating future direct-to-door delivery, on a party line 18-13 vote on May 22. Instead, customers would have to visit central banks of boxes to get mail.

The panel’s Right Wing chairman, Darrell Issa, R-Calif., said killing direct delivery would save millions of dollars, but stuck by his stand that the Postal Service still needs other moves, including tearing up its union contracts, to end its red ink. The postmaster general agrees.

He wants to kill Saturday pickup and delivery, fire 100,000 workers, let 100,000 more go by attrition, cut workers’ comp and switch to more non-union part-timers, among other actions.

Both House and Senate committees that deal with postal legislation have approved measures with many, if not all, of those cuts. Worker and union opposition, including nationwide protests over the last several months, have stalled those measures.

Letter Carriers President Fredric Rolando and Postal Workers President Mark Dimondstein said Issa’s latest scheme is wrong – and that the USPS actually makes money on mail delivery. It’s running in the red because the last GOP-written postal “reform” law, in 2006, imposes on USPS a $5.5 billion yearly prepayment of future retirees’ health care costs.

“Legislators should fix what they broke” – repeal the $5.5 billion requirement – “not break what’s working,” Rolando said.

“This irresponsible bill, HR4670, is bad for the American public, bad for businesses, bad for the economy and bad for the U.S. Postal Service. And it simply ignores reality,” he added of Issa’s latest brainstorm.

“There is no justification for the dramatic cuts in service proposed in this legislation,” Dimondstein said. “They must be stopped.”