February 11, 2013
Cliff Guffey, APWU President
The APWU condemns the Postal Service’s decision to eliminate Saturday mail delivery, which will only deepen the agency’s congressionally-manufactured financial crisis.
The USPS has already begun slashing mail service by closing 13,000 post offices or drastically reducing hours of operation, shutting hundreds of mail processing facilities, and downgrading standards for mail delivery to America’s homes and businesses. The effects are being felt in cities and towns across the country. USPS executives cannot save the Postal Service by tearing it apart. These across-the-board cutbacks will weaken the nation’s mail system and put it on a path to privatization. Congress has the power to restore the USPS to financial stability. To do so, it must repeal provisions of the 2006 law that created the Postal Service’s financial crisis.
The agency’s crisis is a direct result of an unsustainable congressional mandate that was imposed on the Postal Service by the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA). The federal law forces the Postal Service to pre-fund healthcare benefits for future retirees and to do so in a 10-year period. No other entity — public or private — bears this burden. Since the PAEA took effect in 2007, the Postal Service has been required to pre-pay approximately $5.5 billion per year. Yet the same law prohibits the Postal Service from raising postage rates to cover the cost.
The USPS has a vital mission — to bind the nation together by providing efficient, inexpensive service to every part of the country. The Postal Service should be seeking ways to expand its offerings to the American people so that it can remain relevant in the digital age.