Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Six Days to Five: A Colossally Bad Idea

In his 35,000-word “deficit reduction plan” 9/19/2011, President Obama included 300 words to destroy the US Postal Service

“by giving USPS authority, which it has said it will exercise, to reduce mail delivery from six days to five days.”

Former APWU president William Burrus:

Reducing the number of delivery days is absolutely the wrong approach to the loss of mail volume, which has been caused primarily by the recession. The economy will recover, but if five-day delivery is implemented, it will have created conditions that will lead to the ultimate demise of the Postal Service.

The Postal Service has been granted a monopoly on access to the mailbox, but if the USPS abandons delivery on a sixth day, it is doubtful the American public will permit the monopoly to continue. If five-day delivery were enacted, the Private Express Statute would likely be modified to permit a private company to deliver mail on the non-delivery day. Rest assured, once the sanctity of the mail box is pierced, it will not be restored at a later date.

Customers will demand Saturday deliveries, and if the Postal Service does not deliver, private companies will fill the vacuum. And if the mailbox is not protected on Saturday, why should it be protected Monday through Friday? This act would preface the dismantling of government-provided postal service as we know it.

Obama also wants to “give USPS the ability to better align the costs of postage with the costs of mail delivery while still operating within the current price cap.”

The “price cap” is the 2006 law mandating that USPS lose money on every piece of catalog and other bulk mail. 

Everything is on the table:  destroy processing and distribution infrastructure, close thousands of post offices, decimate the workforce, abrogate “no layoff” agreements for which employees gave back $5,000/year of their salary scale, renege on pension and healthcare obligations.  Everything is on the table except mailers paying the cost of delivering their bulk mail.


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