Sample Press Release
On _________, __________, from ____ p.m. to _______ p.m., members of the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) and the National Postal Mail Handlers Union (NPMHU) will meet with their U.S. senators and rally at their state offices at ( address ) to let them know that it is urgent that postal reform be enacted when the Senate returns from recess. With the approaching May 15 expiration of a moratorium on post office and plant closings, postal officials plan to begin massive cuts that would harm the American people and undermine the future of the USPS, unless Congress acts now.
The rallies and meetings and our campaign to Save America's Postal Service have two goals.
The first is to provide accurate facts and context to the public, which has been misinformed about the real financial status of the Postal Service. There are financial problems at the USPS, but they have little to do with sorting and delivering the mail. The real cause of the Postal Service’s financial “crisis” is a five-year old law that requires the USPS to pre-fund 75-year’s worth of future retiree health care benefits over a 10-year period. No other government agency or private business is required to bear such a burden, which drains more than $5.5 BILLION annually from USPS revenues. Were it not for this unreasonable mandate, there would be no financial “crisis” at the post office. In addition, the USPS has tens of billions of dollars in surplus funds sitting in the U.S. Treasury. The Postal Service uses no taxpayer money and hasn’t for 30 years; it derives its revenue from the sale of stamps and services.
Our second goal is to rally public and political support for amendments to a pending Senate bill (S. 1789) that would address some of the harm politicians have caused to the Postal Service. The bill, as written, would provide short-term relief but inflict long-term damage on the Postal Service. The amendments would correct this problem by adequately addressing the pre-funding requirement, maintaining current service standards, protecting rural post offices, maintaining six-day delivery, and establishing a blue-ribbon panel to examine how the Postal Service can earn additional revenue by offering new services.
Closing mail processing centers and post offices and degrading services are unnecessary – and destructive. They would particularly hurt small businesses, the elderly, rural areas, communities around the country – and they would begin the dismantling of one of America’s oldest and most trusted institutions, one that provides Americans with the most efficient and inexpensive mail system in the world.
They would damage the U.S. economy at a time we can least afford it. The Postal Service is the heart of a $1.3 trillion mailing industry that supports 9 million jobs and that has job stability even during the recession. Weakening the Postal Service will jeopardize hundreds of thousands of jobs, unnecessarily. If Congress acts responsibly, the Postal Service can continue to adapt to an evolving society, as it always has. The Internet offers opportunities as well as challenges.
This is a chance for reporters to inform the public by providing information (all easily verifiable) that counters the misleading conventional wisdom. Your reporting can spark a public discussion, and make a difference in the policy debate by bringing the full story to the attention of lawmakers. Further, you will be reporting on a topic that affects every resident and every business in the country, and that can readily be localized for your readers, viewers and listeners.
Please go to www.apwu.org for more information, or call us.
National: Sally Davidow, American Postal Workers Union, 202-842-4250