Unions: Revised Senate Postal Reform Bill Unacceptable

WASHINGTON (PAI)—A revised Senate postal “reform” bill, S1486, is completely unacceptable to U.S. Postal Service workers, postal unions said.

The Senate Governmental Affairs Committee finished working on the measure on Feb. 6 and approved it by a 9-1 vote, with only Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., voting “no.”  Four out of six absent senators also opposed it, but they weren’t in the tally.

The measure would cut 100,000 jobs, eventually end door-to-door service and Saturday delivery, let customers carry concealed guns in postal parking lots – a pet idea of Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kent. – and not solve USPS financial problems, the unions said.

And S1486 overlooks the fact that, on operations – and before an annual $5.5 billion charge to pre-fund future retirees’ health care – USPS earned $623 million in the year ending last Sept. 30, and is projected to earn almost double that this year.   S1486 keeps the health care prefunding scheme, but lessens it and stretches it out.

The unions vowed to fight S1486 on the Senate floor.  An anti-worker postal bill is marooned in the GOP-run House.   USPS brass wants a postal bill to end red ink.

S1486 “would jeopardize the Postal Service’s comeback by slowing service and driving away business,” Letter Carriers President Fredric Rolando said.  “If the full Senate considers postal legislation, it should focus on solutions to the real issues facing the Postal Service: Pre-funding, pricing, new products and pension surpluses.

“Unnecessary and damaging attacks on the Postal Service’s vital networks and its employees, such as those unfortunately included in S. 1486, would only send the USPS on a downward trajectory,” Rolando warned.  Added Postal Workers President Mark Dimondstein:  “This disastrous bill would severely damage service to the people, weaken the USPS and make it ripe for privatization and destroy good jobs throughout the country.”

-PIA