APWU Vows to Fight to Keep Offices Open
APWU Web News Article 082-2011, July 28, 2011
“The American Postal Workers Union will stand with our neighbors to demand that post offices, stations, and branches remain open — and expand the services they offer — wherever they are needed,” APWU President Cliff Guffey said. The USPS announced July 26 that it plans to study 3,700 post offices, stations and branches for possible closure.
“Closing post offices and slashing service to the American people is not the answer to the Postal Service’s financial crisis,” Guffey said. “The USPS is well aware of the cause of its financial difficulties,” he added. “They cannot cut their way to fiscal health.”
“Congress created the crisis when it slapped the USPS with a $5.5 billion obligation that no other government agency or private company is forced to bear,” he said, referring to the requirement that the USPS pre-fund a 75-year retiree healthcare liability over a 10-year period.
“And Congress has refused – so far – to allow the USPS to apply billions of dollars in overpayments to its pension funds to the pre-funding requirement.”
“The federal government is forcing the Postal Service into bankruptcy by holding billions of dollars of USPS money,” Guffey added.
“Unfortunately, the USPS response is misguided. Closing post offices, stations, and branches will not save the Postal Service.”
The USPS plans to replace some of the offices with “Village Post Offices” – convenience stores that will sell stamps and flat-rate packaging – misses the mark, he said.
“In most cases, Village Post Offices will not be able to provide the American people with the service they expect and deserve,” Guffey said. “The so-called ‘Village Post Offices’ are just a warm and fuzzy name for privatizing the USPS.