Yesterday, the postal union and supporters across the country held “Save America’s Postal Service” rallies and called on Congress to pass H.R. 1351 which would reverse the 2006 Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, legislation that requires the postal service to pay 75 years worth of benefits over a 10 year period.
Bennie Thompson was at the rally in Jackson, which took place at union headquarters, and pledged his support of the legislation.
The question is: would this legislation really do anything when all is said and done- or would it just delay the inevitable? The postal service has announced some 3,700 site closures as a way to cut into what is expected to be a $238 billion budget shortfall over the next decade. This includes closing some rural offices as well as duplicative offices in urban areas (five in Jackson are scheduled to get the ax). Barack Obama has given the OK- against the union’s desires- to end Saturday delivery, another cost cutting measure.
Speaking of the union, Thompson has received $56,000 from the American Poster Workers Union over his career making them his 15th largest contributor. He obviously has good reason to see them avoid any layoffs.
While the postal service and the union will take their share of the blame for the situation they are in, the bottom line is that they are an outdated model. There is not a whole lot you can do about that. The telegram was once the main source, or at least the fastest source, of communication in America. But like all good things, its day has come and gone, regardless of what Congress did or didn’t do or how many telegram operators had to find other careers.
Further, competition has hurt USPS. They haven’t been able to keep up with FedEx and UPS. The main reason for choosing USPS today? To mail letters for $0.44. FedEx and UPS certainly can’t compete with that, but looking at the postal service’s bottom line- neither can they.
In addition to the rally in Jackson and Hattiesburg that the Clarion-Ledger covered, there was also supposed to be one in Tupelo. However, just one person showed up. An employee who drove all the way from Cleveland to attend. At least she was able to express her views to the Daily Journal.