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National Postal Mail Handlers Union A Division of LIUNA (AFL-CIO)

Hot Topics / Critical Postal Issues

Oct 17

House Committee Passes Anti-Union, Anti-USPS Bill

House Committee Passes Anti-Union, Anti-USPS Bill

In a display of partisan ideology over practical solutions, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee passed H.R. 2309 on October 13. The bill is designed to minimize and eventually privatize the US Postal Service, and make it into a non-union entity.

Written by Committee Chairman Darryl Issa (R-CA), the bill contains provisions that would force senior employees to retire or be laid off using reduction in force rules, gut existing collective bargaining agreements and make future bargaining inconsequential, reduce delivery to five days, and eliminate both home delivery (replaced by cluster boxes) and Congressional or community input on closings of postal facilities. Issa’s aim is to reduce employee wages and benefits in order to “save” the USPS. He was supported by the USPS legislative representatives in this effort.

“This is a textbook example of bad legislation. Issa and the Republicans are trying to `Wisconsinize’ postal unions’ collective bargaining,” said National President John F. Hegarty. “Mr. Issa is mimicking the Republican-led state legislatures, which are attacking public employees’ collective bargaining rights in an attempt to eliminate their pensions, their health care, and ultimately their unions.

“Issa rigidly adheres to a right-wing, partisan ideology to decrease the size of government by strangling the US Postal Service. Rather than creating jobs, which the nation needs, Issa sees his role as putting more than 100,000 postal workers out of a job.” Issa stated that ultimately he wants to reduce the USPS by more than 200,000 employees.

One year ago, Congressman Issa told postal union representatives that he would not attack collective bargaining. Yet, with this bill, he is leading the assault on free collective bargaining for postal employees. Indications are that the USPS provided him with the language and talking points that he wanted.

All of the Democrats on the Committee voted “no” on these anti-labor provisions and against the entire bill. Several Republicans on the panel expressed some displeasure at his blatant, anti-union and anti-democratic provisions. However, the only Republican on the Committee to oppose the final bill was Todd Platts (R-PA).

Following the House Committee’s action, Senator Tom Carper (D-DE) issued a statement in which he said that the Issa bill was an exercise in partisanship that would not pass the Senate.

Issa also tried to gut the Federal Employees Compensation Act, but ran into a procedural difficulty. He said he would not stop trying

The next step for H.R. 2309 is for the bill to go to the House Rules Committee, where it most likely will be rubber-stamped, and then go to the House Floor for a final vote. Such action may take place before Thanksgiving.

“We will have to step up our national effort to defeat this bill in the House,” declared Hegarty. There is another bill pending, which would greatly assist the Postal Service, without gutting collective bargaining. Nearly all Democrats and 30 Republicans have cosponsored legislation (H.R. 1351) authored by Rep. Steve Lynch (D-MA) that would help solve the economic woes of the USPS, difficulties which were created by onerous pre-funding mandates implemented by Congress back in 2006. All Mail Handlers need to immediately write to their Congressional Representatives to support H.R. 1351, and to vehemently oppose H.R. 2309.


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