The American Postal Workers Union has returned to national television with three new 30-second commercials. But unlike a softer-focus ad campaign that ran last summer, these spots have a definite target: the U.S. Postal Service’s downsizing agenda and, in particular, its plans to close or consolidate more than 220 mail processing plants.
If a Maine plant closes, “we would have to consider layoffs” because of increased mailing times, says the president of a Bangor company that produces billing statements, appointment reminders and other documents, in one ad. The other commercials suggest that the processing plant closures could slow delivery of mail-order prescription drugs and warn that the Postal Service wants to lop 100,000 jobs from its payroll overall.
“They’re going to be putting people out of work everywhere,” says Walt Gale, a retired USPS manager from Colorado. “The American people depend on the Postal Service.”
The ads, which began airing last week on NBC, CNN, Fox News Channel and MSNBC, are set to run through May. APWU spokeswoman Sally Davidow declined to give a dollar figure for the total buy, but in an email described it as “a significant amount.”
The timing is no accident. Late last month, the Postal Service released the list of processing plants targeted for demise by next year; meanwhile, the Senate could soon take up legislation that would authorize the mail carrier to offer buyouts or early retirement incentives to up to 100,000 employees and relax requirements for funding retiree health care in advance. But while the legislation would make the Postal Service jump through a few more hoops before shutting post offices and mail plants, it wouldn’t bar such closures outright.
Union-backed proposals, however, by Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and 26 Democratic senators would effectively prohibit large-scale plant closings for at least four years and also make it much harder to shutter rural post offices. The bill’s lead sponsor, Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., has not said where he stands on those proposed amendments, but postal observers see the tug-of-war as one reason that the bill–which was cleared for Senate floor action almost two months ago–has not yet been brought up for debate.
One final footnote: The bill’s co-sponsors include Sen. Susan Collins, a Republican from–yes–Maine.
william torrence Says:
April 4th, 2012 at 9:01 am
Given the realities of our world and the state of our government today, there is much blame to go around for the mistakes made by both sides of the jobs situation. The post office faces the same glaring facts and realities that todays businesses face. Evolve or slowly fade away! All business needs to re-invent themselves to meet the realities of our changed world or become extinct. Wether it is a small business or a giant institution such as the postal service. Granted smaller business are quicker on their feet to adapt to change than the postal service. Yes, the many failures by our leaders to act is one on the major reasons the postal service is slow to adapt to our changing world. But I believe the postal system can adapt and step into the future by the use of current technologies and some forward thinking. Much as many businesses are forced to do today to survive and thrive. Things are going to get worse before they get better. The new media blitz is a double edged blade! I can see where marketing the postal system to the masses might help you cause, but at the same time I ask myself how much added money is this blitz costing the tax payers for such a media blitz? The negatives may become greater than the benefits gained by the efforts in the long run. I think the postal service should take a step into the future instead of trying to cling on to the past! The priorities of the brave new world are changing and will continue to evolve as technology advances faster in shorter time frames. There are many things the post office could do to adapt to the new realities we all face now and in the future. I’m not talking about some kind of star wars, I see tJesus in my french toast ideas! I’m talking off the shelf, proven, technologies that could make vast changes in the system for the better! New twists on very old ideas that would streamline and make the post office much quicker to adapt to the realities of today and the future that is coming to all! The major concern is the loss of so many jobs for postal employees. The ideas I have would provide jobs for most, if not all of any employees displaced by the looming changes the post office will have to swallow, no matter how great the media blitz is! The jobs would be created in the new product stream created by making the equipment needed to step into the future. It think a media blitz of the future of the value of the postal service, the efforts underway to adapt to the future, and the technological advances that are being made and implementd by a forward thinkig postal service laying the ground work for for our collective future, would have a far greater effect on the attitude of the average American than trying to sell the existing relevence of the postal service as is! Everyone knows we have to adapt and change for our future! Ther are many ideas I have to make concrete, do-able, reallistic changes that would have a major impact on your current situation! Logical, common sense ideas that would generate much better PR than trying to convince Americans by fear. My ideas could be done quickly and shown in the media how the post office is commited to the future growtth of Ameriica than holding onto the past! Good PR, ideas and technology that the average person can easily graspp and understand, and a forward thinking post ooffice leadingg into the future,, than being dragged and slowly dismantlled for a lack of vision!
Contact me, hear me out, I truely believe that my ideas will impress and enable you to see and understand what I see as the futture of the post office, now and down the road!
Thannk you! William torrence