Union Asks Legislators to Support
Public Input on USPS Consolidation
APWU Web News Article #19-06, March 27, 2006
The APWU has asked key legislators to support language in the Senate version of postal reform legislation that would require the Postal Service to consider community input when contemplating consolidation of postal operations. The language, offered by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), was adopted by the Senate when it approved the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act on Feb. 9, 2006.
In a March 17 letter [PDF], APWU President William Burrus urged legislators to retain the provision during deliberations of a conference committee, which must be formed to resolve differences between the Senate bill and a similar measure approved by the House of Representatives on July 23, 2005.
The letter was sent to senators who have been named to the committee and to four House members who have been leaders on postal matters. (House conferees have not yet been named.)
Recipients of the APWU letter are: Susan Collins (R-ME), Chair of the Senate’s Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and fellow Republicans Ted Stevens (AK), George Voinovich (OH), Bob Bennett (UT), and Norm Coleman (MN), and Democrats Joe Lieberman (CT), Tom Carper (DE), and Dan Akaka (HI). Rep. Tom Davis (R-VA), Chairman of the House Government Reform Committee, John McHugh (R-NY), and Democrats Henry Waxman, (D-CA), and Danny Davis (D-IL), also received the letter.
Before decisions about network consolidation are finalized, Burrus wrote, “the USPS should be required to provide an opportunity for the citizens of the impacted areas to consider the effect of the consolidation plans on their lives and businesses, and given the opportunity to express reservations, if any.”
The language at issue would require the Postal Service to:
“The USPS Evolutionary Network Development (END) plan was created without any input from the American people, whose mail service will deteriorate,” Burrus said at a special meeting of the APWU National Executive Board on March 10. “It is the result of pressure on the USPS by the mailing industry, which is seeking to reduce its costs at the expense of all others.
“I am hopeful that the language proposed by Sen. Harkin will be retained and that it will force the Postal Service to consider the interests of individual citizens and small businesses.”