05/02/2019 - On Monday, Apr. 29, members of Congress introduced H.R. 2382, the USPS Fairness Act. This legislation would repeal, in full, the onerous prefunding of retiree health care benefits mandate Congress put in place in 2006. The mandate requires the Postal Service to prefund its retiree health care benefits 75 years in advance, paying for retirement health care for individuals who haven’t been born yet, let alone enter the workforce. The mandate is accountable for 92 percent of the Postal Service’s net losses since 2007 and is a constant threat to the financial sustainability of the Postal Service.
Call 844-402-1001 to contact your member of Congress and ask them to cosponsor H.R. 2382, the USPS Fairness Act. Be sure to also promote H.R. 2382 on social media using #repealprefunding #HR2382#peoplebeforeprofit and/or #unfairburden.
Reach out to your family, friends, and neighbors and ask them to call their representatives as well. This legislation affects every American household.
05/02/2019 - In an Apr. 30 hearing, The House Committee on Oversight & Reform (COR) examined the financial conditions of the United States Postal Service. The committee invited Postmaster General Megan Brennan, Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) Director of the Office of Accountability and Compliance Margaret Cigno, President and CEO of Quad/Graphics Joel Quadracci, National Association of Letter Carriers President Fredric Rolando, and Cato Institute Director of Tax Policy Studies Chris Edwards to testify.
Ahead of the hearing, APWU President Mark Dimondstein submitted a statement for the record, calling for four common sense solutions. These include: repealing the prefunding mandate in full; allowing investment options for the Postal Service Retiree Health Benefits Fund to boost investment returns; expanding on new products and services; and restoring the 2013 exigency rate surcharge permanently.
04/02/2019 - (This article first appeared in the March/April 2019 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine)
By Legislative & Political Department Director Judy Beard
House representatives in the 116th Congress wasted no time displaying their opposition to the White House plan to privatize the Postal Service. On Jan. 9, Representative Stephen Lynch (D-MA-8), along with 12 original, bi-partisan co-sponsors, re-introduced the resolution to ensure the USPS is not subject to privatization. This resolution (H. Res 33) already had 205 co-sponsors as this issue went to press, reaffirming strong support for the public Postal Service. The companion Senate resolution, S. Res. 99, was introduced by Senator Gary Peters (D-MI) on March 7, and has 30 co-sponsors.
04/02/2019 - (This article first appeared in the March-April 2018 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine)
Sixteen APWU members participated in a “train-thetrainer” for the APWU’s US Mail – Not for Sale Anti-Privatization campaign. Members from coast-to-coast came to learn about the current White House proposals to sell the public Postal Service, and to acquire strategies to develop worker power to stop the sale.
The training was held at the Tommy Douglas Conference Center in Hillandale, MD from Feb. 26-28. Legislative & Political Director Judy Beard organized and taught the course, with the assistance from staff members on the US Mail – Not For Sale national committee.
04/01/2019 - (This article first appeared in the March/April 2019 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine)
Working people across the country continue to build on past organizing successes to beat back government actions that threaten our jobs and our families’ futures.
For the last few years, labor has been in the streets, defending our rights to good, family-sustaining jobs and dignified retirements. APWU has been a key part of these recent labor victories, with our successful Stop Staples campaign against privatizers in the USPS.
2019 is barely three months old, yet collective worker action has already led to two tremendous victories. First, the partial government shutdown beginning Dec. 22, 2018. More than 800,000 federal workers were locked out or forced to work without pay as President Trump demanded billions in funding for a border wall. After the longest federal government shutdown in history – lasting 35 days – workers brought it to an end because they fought back, and the entire American labor movement came to their aid.
Second, the strike by education personnel in West Virginia – the second in as many years – once again captured national attention and showed the country how it is possible to win when workers stand together, even when the government is set squarely against them.
03/29/2019 - The White House released its plans for the fiscal year 2020 budget this month. It once again attacks workers, calling for deep cuts to salaries, retirement and health benefits. It also echoes parts of the Postal Task Force December 2018 report that calls for the elimination of union negotiated collective bargaining rights over pay, creating a postal employee pay system similar to what is seen in the federal workforce.
Further mirroring the Postal Task Force report, the budget calls for privatization of the Postal Service in part, including outsourcing processing and sortation to private companies, and providing access to mailboxes to third parties.
“The cuts in the current White House budget proposal clearly come at the expense of postal employees, retirees, and the American people,” President Mark Dimondstein said. “Similar attacks on postal workers and universal postal service were also seen in the June 2018 report from the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in which the White House proposes to sell the Postal Service to the highest corporate bidder.”
02/19/2019 - On Feb. 13, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) introduced S. 478, the “Expand Social Security Act,” legislation that would expand benefits and add almost 50 years of solvency to the program. Social Security, in its current form, is paying out more money to recipients than it takes in, and will no longer be able to pay out full benefits by 2034. A companion bill, H.R. 1170 was introduced in the House on the same day by Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR-4).