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Postal Worker Unions Tell Congress ‘To Deliver Postal Reform Before’ Year’s End

Published Wednesday, December 8, 2021
by Mark Gruenberg/People’s World
Postal Worker Unions Tell Congress ‘To Deliver Postal Reform Before’ Year’s End

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - Post Workers Unions are pushing Congress to approve comprehensive postal reform before the end of this year, but it appears that even the Democratic-run House isn’t listening.

Instead, leaders have yet to schedule a debate and vote on the measure - HR3076, and referred it to two key committees, Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce.

The original deadline for those panels’ action was December 3rd.

Now it’s January 21st, 2022.

The legislation, backed by the American Postal Workers Union (APWU), the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC), the Mail Handlers/Laborers and other Unions, attempts to solve the long-running red ink - on paper - that has engulfed the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) for more than a decade.

One committee that handles postal legislation, Oversight and Government Reform, already approved the Bill.

A Republican-run Congress created the red ink in 2006.

Lawmakers catered to the Corporate Class and the Radical Right, which wanted and still wants to carve up the USPS, sell off the most-profitable sections to the highest bidder, and leave the rest of the country hung out to dry.

Their key weapon: Imposing a $5.5 billion yearly USPS payment to fund future Retirees’ health insurance.

That cash drain threw the USPS into the red, even as first-class mail and package revenues rose, despite the Internet and the Coronavirus-caused economic crash.

And then former GOP Oval Office occupant Donald Trump compounded the mess by strong-arming the USPS board into naming Corporate Executive Louis DeJoy, a major Republican campaign donor, as Postmaster General - with orders to cut costs by cutting people, closing sorting centers, and slowing the mail.

DeJoy, with the Board’s backing, did so, enthusiastically and over the objections of the APWU, NALC, lawmakers, and, of course, customers.

HR3076, the Union-backed legislation, would undo that health care mandate and open other sources of new revenue for the USPS.

It would also reverse DeJoy’s slowdowns while letting Postal Workers and Letter Carriers really move the mail.

“Simply put, the pre-funding mandate makes our jobs harder, and makes winning the strong wages and benefits we deserve at the bargaining table even more difficult,” the APWU said in an e-mailed statement. “The Postal Service Reform Act (HR3076), would repeal the pre-funding mandate and enact critical reforms our Union has long fought for, like protecting six-day delivery, adding cost-saving Medicare integration for future retirees, and increasing transparency in Postal Service management.”

DeJoy advocated ending Saturday delivery service - but backed off.

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