Last Sunday night, I held two separate conference calls to talk to NALC members about S. 1789, the deeply flawed 21st Century Postal Reform Act. A combined total of nearly 51,000 members stayed on the line to take part in those calls, and we also left more than 71,000 messages with members who were unable to take the calls.
Immediately following that evening’s teleconferences, and all day Monday and Tuesday, thousands upon thousands of NALC members, plus our friends, family members and allies, flooded the phone lines of Senate offices on Capitol Hill, voicing our opposition to the bill. More than 13,000 calls have been placed using our special toll-free number.
As introduced, S. 1789 appears to favor the Postal Service’s dangerously misguided business strategy of relying almost exclusively on reducing the quality and value of its mail services while failing to adequately address the single biggest cause of the Postal Service’s recent financial distress, the 2006 mandate that USPS fully pre-fund future retiree health benefits.
Thanks in part to our calls, by Tuesday afternoon the Senate had failed to gather enough votes to allow consideration to begin on S. 1789. This means that a Senate vote on this bill likely won’t be held until after Congress’ Easter recess, at the earliest.
Our hope is that senators will now use this extra time to carefully analyze the Postal Service’s financial problems, so that if the Senate resumes consideration of the bill in mid-April, it will be prepared to work on real reform designed to strengthen the agency, not dismantle it.
Your unparalleled level of commitment will help us win the fight to preserve the USPS. But make sure you stay informed on the latest developments, because we must be prepared to renew the fight at any time.
Fredric V. Rolando, President
National Association of Letter Carriers