May 20, 2014—Statement of Fredric V. Rolando, president of the National Association of Letter Carriers, on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee mark-up of the Secure Delivery for America Act of 2014:
The 275,000 members of the National Association of Letter Carriers, who live and work in every congressional District in America, call on the members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee (OGR) to vote “no” on the so-called Secure Delivery for America Act.
Rather than addressing the unreasonable financial mandates that Congress has imposed on the Postal Service, the committee is once again considering a bill that calls for unnecessary and counter-productive service reductions. Forcing 15 million American households and businesses to give up door delivery in favor of remote cluster boxes or curb-line mailboxes is totally unacceptable. If passed, the bill would also impose a $1.1 billion cost on American households and businesses (or on the Postal Service through vouchers) to dismantle their own mailboxes and to install curb-line or cluster boxes.
Degrading the Postal Service’s invaluable last-mile network makes no sense, nor does it make business sense to sever the revenue-generating connection between letter carriers and their business customers. The Customer Connect program, through which letter carriers generate sales leads for Priority Mail and shipping services, has produced more than $2 billion in new annual income for the Postal Service. Without this personal contact, such leads cannot be developed.
The country and the Postal Service are finally recovering from the Great Recession, as booming e-commerce deliveries and rising direct-mail volumes offset reduced First Class Mail volumes. Excluding the crushing and uniquely unfair burden to pre-fund future retiree health benefits decades in advance, the USPS is once again recording operating profits—$1 billion in the first half of Fiscal Year 2014. Dismantling the now-profitable postal network would stop this turnaround in its tracks. Now is the time to enact sensible reforms that will reduce retiree health costs and permit needed investments that will allow the Postal Service to innovate and grow. On May 21, OGR should take into account the Postal Service’s recent recovery and reject the Secure Delivery for America Act.
As always, NALC is committed to working with both parties in Congress to discuss real reform that will strengthen the Postal Service to meet the needs of the 21st century.