There’s nothing like the prospect of looming disaster to bring people together. The latest case in point: The U.S. Postal Service’s four unions are teaming up for an unprecedented “Save America’s Postal Service” day later this month.
The basic purpose is to gin up support for legislation by Rep. Stephen Lynch, D-Mass., that would let the Postal Service take advantage of billions of dollars in pension fund overpayments identified by an outside actuary to cover retiree health care obligations. Despite almost 200 cosponsors, that bill, like other proposed legislative fixes, is currently stuck in a congressional committee. But on Sept. 27, union members will be visiting the home offices of every member of the U.S. House of Representatives and also holding informational rallies, according to a joint website.
The four participating groups are the American Postal Workers Union, the National Association of Letter Carriers, the National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association and the National Postal Mail Handlers Union.
These are of course dark times for the venerable mail carrier, one of the nation’s largest employers and a bastion of relatively well-paying middle-class jobs. The Postal Service, running short on cash, now wants to lay off up to 120,000 career workers in the next three years.
In a phone interview, Philip Rubio, a historian at North Carolina A&T State University, could not recall anything comparable in USPS labor history. “This does speak to the severity of the current crisis that the four of them would make common cause,” Rubio said. “It’s the kind of grass-roots effort that a lot of people will welcome.”
Tags: American Postal Workers Union, National Association of Letter Carriers, National Postal Mail Handers Union, National Rural Letter Carriers Association, North Carolina A&T State University, Philip Rubio
BH Obama Says:
September 12th, 2011 at 12:13 pm
With unions sucking the gravy bowl until it’s dry, is it any wonder the USPS is suffering so badly? Unions are the antiquated element in this and many other equasions across the country. Unions – stop taking good jobs and turning them into high priced, downsizeable jobs!
September 12th, 2011 at 4:59 pm
USPS Management are counting on the Unions to sell its’ program. Who do you believe? I remember back in the 60′ 70′s no one wanted to work for USPS cause of poor wages. Now there are lines around the corner if positions open up. Management is counting on the Unions as their voice of outcry since MGMT wages are tied to how much the Unions collectively bargain for wages and benefits. I am not hating on the Unions but ask postal folks if the threat is real by Management and they will declare there is no shortage of mail or OT hours to deliver it. In this day of less mail traffic cut the number of days down to 3-4 days of delivery and raise prices of stamps to 54 cents this year and 5 additional cents the next two years. Get the big Mailers out of the picture and eliminate all discounts to any and all organizations. Getting a few cents back from Congress is not gonna cure this drowning organization.
September 12th, 2011 at 6:13 pm
Why do people think that union employees make so much money? My base salary after 15 yrs in less than $60. It’s management that pulls down the high end of the salary scale. If there are extra payouts to union employees it’s because management likes to break the contract and we have to file grievances. Most of these are decided in our favor by arbitrators who realize that Postal Management is in breech of our negotiated contracts. I also contribute over 20% to my health care plan. Craft employees do not get a free ride. We work for what we earn and all our unions do is make sure it’s a fair and decent wage. None of us make 50 – 60 dollars and hour to watch a robot weld a car door together. So stop blaming the unions.
September 12th, 2011 at 10:43 pm
Hey BH Obama, you’re an idiot. Let’s just cut everyone’s wages to Wal-mart pay and then you’ll be happy. I know the pay of the postal service and it,s no better than their competitors. Maybe we should cut their wages too. Then let’s cut yours. then we won’t have to worry about anyone buying all the foreign made crap or better yet, any new vehicles because we’ll all be getting pd. minimum wage. Go braniac!
September 12th, 2011 at 11:31 pm
“I also contribute over 20% to my health care plan. ”
You are living high on the hawg my friend. Just think if the Tea Baggers have their way you will have no job or will pay in 80%.
If you are making $60k after 15 years in you are prob a clerk or a Carrier. Thats a lot of moolah when folks are making min wage in private industry. Again I am not hating you. I worked for Postal for 38 years and the only reason Mgmt lost to arbitration was because it had not done due diligence and provided enough background proof to fire someone – they lost on a technicality. SOME Craft employees are riding the gravy train and should be fired. Having said that the complement needs to be reduced by 220k by reducing the number of days of delivery – it is just that simple. But then again stay on the job and continue to pay for my benefits like I had to do for someone before me.
September 13th, 2011 at 8:52 am
Before Automation mail processing was a semi-skilled job, mail carrier semi-skilled, mail handler unskilled labor. At present most of these positions could be filled anyone of normal literacy and intelligence, and fully qualified in three to twelve weeks.They are paid at a thirty four percent premium compared to private industry. The postal service has four to five times the management and supervisory personnel than can be justified by business or functional need.
Electronics Technician and Mail processing Equiptment Mechanics are the MOST skilled craft employees, the smallest work group, are paid about 34% below market wages,, hmmm, how did that happen.
richie rich Says:
September 14th, 2011 at 9:25 am
iam a postal worker have been for 28 years ,its very simple pay back the money the postal service paid to the retirement plan and downsize all our smaller less productive post offices to larger facilitys ,a win -win situation we save on rent,utilitys,fuel costs,transportation expenses and will build a more efficient postal service.