APWU to Re-Air T.V. Ad
As Campaign to Defeat
House Postal Bill Heats Up
APWU News Bulletin 17-2012, June 22, 2012 | PDF
The APWU will air a revised version of one of its popular television ads beginning on June 25, President Cliff Guffey has announced.
“Rep. Darrell Issa and GOP House leaders are trying to round up support for H.R. 2309, a bill that would destroy the Postal Service,” Guffey said. “We must make sure that the American people — and members of Congress — realize the danger it poses.”
The ad points out that the House is considering a bill that would close thousands of offices, slash service, and layoff over 100,000 workers.
“The Postal Service is recording financial losses, but not for reasons you might think,” the spot continues. “The problem? A burden no other agency or company bears. A 2006 law that drains $5 billion a year from Post Office revenue while the Postal Service is forced to overpay billions more into federal accounts.” The ad concludes with a simple message: “House bill 2309 is not the answer.”
“H.R. 2309 would lead to massive upheaval for postal workers and extensive disruptions in service to the American people,” Guffey said. It would force the Postal Service to close tens of thousands of post offices and hundreds of mail processing plants, and would reduce “door delivery” by 75 percent.
H.R. 2309 also would destroy collective bargaining, the union president said. “It would allow an appointed board to reject union contracts the board considers too costly, and it would prohibit postal unions and the USPS from negotiating protection against layoffs,” he noted.
But the bill would do nothing to correct the cause of the USPS financial crisis: the 2006 law that requires the Postal Service to pre-fund healthcare benefits for future retirees. “The 2006 law is starving the USPS,” Guffey said. Ninety-six percent of USPS losses in the last quarter were due to the pre-funding requirement.
Vote Could be in July
If House leaders are successful in garnering support for it, H.R. 2309 could be voted on in July. In a May 25 memo to House Republicans about the summer legislative agenda, Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) praised the bill, which was sponsored by Issa (R-CA) and Rep. Dennis Ross (R-FL), and wrote, “We will be working to bring their bill to the floor.”
Rep. Issa introduced the bill on June 23, 2011, and it was approved by a House subcommittee on Oct. 13, by a vote of 22-18. All but one Republican (Rep. Todd Platts of Pennsylvania) voted in favor of the bill; Democrats voted against it. H.R. 1351, a bill that enjoyed widespread support from unions and others in the postal community garnered 227 co-sponsors, but Rep. Issa has refused to bring it up for a vote.
Attention turned to the Senate in November, when four senators — including two Democrats and two Republicans introduced S. 1789. The APWU and others worked to amend the Senate bill, and a revised version was approved on April 25, 2012.
“We now must return our attention to the House,” Guffey said. “We must defeat H.R. 2309 and continue the fight for postal reform legislation that addresses the cause of the USPS financial crisis without slashing service and punishing workers,” he said.