House Panel Approves Amendment To Restore Postal Service Standards
Next Step: Win Support for House Resolution 54
06/30/2015 - The vote by a House Committee on June 17 approving an amendment that would restore postal service standards “is a big step forward for postal workers and our customers,” said APWU President Mark Dimondstein.
“If enacted, it will mean that management must restore overnight mail delivery within cities and towns, and that the 2- and 3-day delivery standards that were wiped out in January must be restored. It also would make additional plant consolidations less feasible.”
The legislation would rescind the lower service standards the USPS implemented on Jan. 5 – which have wreaked havoc on mail delivery – and restore the standards that were in place on July 1, 2012.
The amendment was approved by the House Appropriations Committee, in a bipartisan vote of 26-23. Six Republicans joined all of the committee’s Democrats to endorse the measure, which was introduced by Rep. Chakah Fattah (D-PA).
“This is the first step in a long process, however,” Dimondstein warned. The full House must approve the Financial Services Appropriations bill. The Senate also must approve an appropriations bill and the two chambers must adopt a unified final version.
The Best Way to Achieve Our Goal
“To achieve our goal, we will have to demonstrate that there is broad support in Congress,” the union president added. “The best way to accomplish this right now is to ask legislators to endorse House Resolution 54.”
House Resolution 54 is a non-binding measure that urges the Postal Service to take “all appropriate measures” to restore the service standards that were in effect as of July 1, 2012.
“House Resolution 54 currently has 196 co-sponsors,” Dimondstein pointed out, “which means that if just 22 more U.S. Representatives sign on, we can declare that we have support from more than half the House.”
Legislative and Political Director John L. Marcotte said, “I want to thank locals, states, retiree chapters and auxiliary members for reaching out and educating Congress about the importance of service standards.”
USPS Seeks to Derail Amendment
The Postal Service has signaled it will try to derail the measure. In a statement on its website, the Postal Service called the amendment “financially and operationally indefensible,” and said it “encourages Congress to remove the requirement.”
In addition to “immediate implementation costs,” the USPS claimed “foregoing the benefits” of its “current operating model” would cost the agency $1.5 billion annually.
Dimondstein said the claim was preposterous. “The Postal Service should, at the very least, be honest with the American people and with Congress,” he said.
“Management’s stance emphasizes how important it is that we win support for House Resolution 54.”
Decked Out in Union Gear