APWU Web News Article 101-2011, Sept. 15, 2011
APWU President Cliff Guffey condemned USPS plans to study 252 mail processing facilities for possible closure, saying widespread closures would “dismantle the mail-processing network.” On Sept. 14, the USPS released a list of offices where studies will take place.
“The Postal Service should be urging Congress to address the cause of its problems – not slashing service and demolishing its network,” the union president said.
A 2006 law has pushed the USPS to brink of insolvency by imposing a burden on the Postal Service that no other government agency or company bears. The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act requires the Postal Service to pre-fund the healthcare benefits of future retirees. The mandate, which forces the agency to pre-fund a 75-year liability in just 10 years, costs the USPS more than $5.5 billion annually.
“The mail processing network is a major asset,” Guffey noted. “Destroying it is misguided and counterproductive.
“Degrading service is not the answer to the Postal Service’s problems,” he said, noting that extensive closures would force the USPS to reduce delivery standards and delay mail delivery. “The Postal Service should be looking for ways to strengthen service and increase its relevance in the age of digital communication.”
Guffey said he was extremely displeased by the Postal Service’s refusal to provide the union with any advance notice of its plans.