The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform approved a postal bill introduced by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) by a vote of 22 to 17 on July 24. The vote was along party lines, with all Republicans voting in favor of the measure and all Democrats voting against it.
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“If it is enacted, this bill will lead to the demise of the Postal Service,” said APWU President Cliff Guffey. “I call upon all APWU members to contact their U.S. representatives and urge them to vote ‘no’ when the bill is brought before the full House.
“The bill would punish postal workers and deprive the American people of vital services,” said Guffey. “It would subvert the Postal Service’s mission by privatizing major portions of USPS operations.” H.R. 2748 would:
Prohibit postal unions and management from negotiating protection against layoffs;
Increase health insurance costs for employees;
Limit workers’ collective bargaining rights;
Reduce compensation for injured workers with dependents and force them to retire.
Deprive Customers of Vital Services
Impose a two- to three-day d elivery standard for first-class mail;
Close post offices, stations and branches;
Reduce door delivery and end Saturday letter delivery.
Establish “competition advocates” to promote contracting out;
Prohibit customers from appealing decisions to close post offices, stations or branches if a “contract postal unit” is opened within two miles;
Establish a “temporary governance authority” whose broad powers would end only after the USPS achieves two consecutive years of profitability.
“H.R. 2748 would weaken the USPS and jeopardize postal jobs,” said Legislative and Political Director Gary Kloepfer. “And it wouldn’t do nearly enough to fix the financial crisis Congress created. We must defeat it.”
“We also must turn our attention to the Senate,” Guffey said. Before any postal bill can be enacted, it must pass both chambers of Congress. Differences between bills adopted by the House and Senate must be resolved, and the president must sign the final version of the legislation that emerges.
“We must highlight the drastic cuts in service that management has made and will continue to make if Congress doesn’t enact sensible reform now,” Guffey said. “We must demand that Congress take action to stop the dismantling of the mail processing network and stop the degradation of service to the American people.”