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News and Updates

Congress Relaxes Private Express Statutes – Thousands To Be Laid Off


(08/2014)Written by Omar M. Gonzales,
APWU Western Regional Coordinator

The 114th Congress has enacted a bill that significantly relaxes the law protecting the exclusive right of the Postal Service to deliver the nation’s mail triggering the expiration of the Memorandum of Understanding on Lay-Off protection.

The Senate and House versions have been reconciled and despite the veto of President Obama the Congress has overturned the veto and enacted the Reform Accountability Postal Enhancement law, which allows private companies to deliver mail to America’s mail boxes. Almost immediately the Postmaster General issued notice to the Union of managements intention to issue 60 day layoff notices to 36,000 postal workers.

It Could Happen

The above scenario could actually happen after seven month if “we” (you and I) lose the Senate. This November’s mid-term election is critical to our survival as a postal service of the people and as postal workers. Let me explain why:

• With only a few months left as Chairman of the Oversight & Government Reform Committee postal workers No. 1 enemy Darrell Issa is trying to use a trick to make his new proposed bill resemble the White House’s Budget version of postal reform.

• There are some democrats that are likely to support Issa in the House especially if they believe that the White House supports elimination of the 5 day delivery, ending door to door delivery, increased closing of plants and post offices.

• The U.S. Senate which has previously passed reform bills, which contained some anti-worker anti-service provisions, is controlled by Democrats and it is in this chamber that we can continue to maintain protection of services and jobs. We cannot afford to lose the US Senate!!!

• Under current provisions of the CBA if Congress significantly relaxes the Private Express Statues (i.e., the law that only allows USPS to deliver to mail boxes) then our current protection against lay-off expires!

• Privatizers (i.e., corporate elites, and some major mailer, conservative congressional reps) advocate for the privatization of the US Postal Service. Many of these also want the Private Express Statutes to be repealed or relaxed.

• Management of the postal service is taking steps to delay mail service and undermine retail operations despite their claims they are not trying to privatize USPS.

• If we lose the Senate there will be no entity to work with to protect services from privatization and the elimination of our postal jobs. A Presidential veto on elimination of postal Private Express Statues can be over ridden and WE ALL LOSE!

Who Cares?

Too many postal workers refuse to believe that Congress would dismantle the Postal Service and/or eliminate our postal jobs and benefits. THIS IS A MISTAKE.

It is critical that YOU become involved in the mid-term congressional elections and ensure that those support you, your job and the Postal Service are elected in November. You better care now, commit now and get active now.

Your local, state* and I will be working hard to educate the membership on the issues. But the real Union is you and if you fail to WAKE UP and WORK to keep your job please don’t blame anyone else when the privatizers and corporate elites eliminate your jobs and send you to the unemployment jobs.

Stay Tuned And Stay Active!

Reprinted from "The Informant", August 2014, page 4, *"state" added by webmaster.