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  No. 04-04 February 27, 2004       
 
 
  Young Tells Congress
Postal Reform Should Expand USPS Service
  USPS Drafts Plan for Catastrophic Biological Attack
 
    Testimony: Full Text
NALC President William H. Young makes a point during testimony February 24 before Senate Governmental Affairs Committee hearing on postal reform.


NALC President William H. Young makes a point during testimony February 24 before Senate Governmental Affairs Committee hearing on postal reform.


In his second appearance before a congressional panel in three weeks, NALC President William H. Young on February 24 urged the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee to adopt postal reform legislation that will maximize the value of universal service by adding services to replace those migrating to electronic alternatives.

"Greater commercial freedom – which involves flexibility over prices and the ability to strike partnerships to optimize the value of the network – would allow the USPS to maximize revenues and control costs while retaining the value of universal service," he said.

  Senator Susan Collins   Senator Tom Carper
  Senator Susan Collins
    Senator Tom Carper

As he did in testimony February 5 before a House Government Reform panel in Chicago, Young told the committee the NALC opposes several suggestions by the President's Commission on the U.S. Postal Service involving collective bargaining, including ending the current system of binding arbitration in the event of an impasse in negotiations, and the creation of a new regulatory authority with power over the terms of a bargaining agreement.

"Congressional or White House intervention in the process would be highly destructive," Young said. "This would inevitably happen if a politically appointed regulatory body were injected into the negotiations process."

Young told Committee Chair Susan Collins (R-ME) and Tom Carper (D-DE), who have been leading the Senate battle for postal reform, that now is the time for "a real chance for progress on postal reform."

"NALC supports the general principles for reform recently outlined by President Bush and looks forward to working with leaders of both Houses of Congress to achieve bipartisan postal reform in 2004," Young said.

Young cited the improved labor-management climate at the Postal Service, saying it occurred because the parties worked very hard to find common ground and to seek ways to resolve mutual problems.

"Postmaster General Jack Potter and his team deserve credit for working with us to achieve this transformation," he added.

Touching on another suggestion by the presidential panel, Young suggested leaving the current method of dealing with pension and health benefits intact, emphasizing that the cost of such benefits figure very prominently in postal labor negotiations.

"Although the parties do not directly negotiate over all aspects of postal benefit costs, these costs are not ignored and they invariably affect the results of wage negotiations," he said.

 

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  Ceremony May 3 !
  NALC, Young Named Recipient
Of Chapin Anti-Hunger Award
   

NALC President William H. Young and the National Association of Letter Carriers, along with Postmaster General John E. Potter, have been named recipients of one of the most prestigious honors in the world anti-hunger movement, the annual World Hunger Year-Harry Chapin Award, for conducting the annual NALC National Food Drive.

 

Deadline Nears For
Ordering Postcards

The deadline for ordering Campbell Soup-Postal Service postcards to promote the NALC Food Drive is March 2. Branch coordinators should quickly get the completed forms back to NALC headquarters to ensure timely delivery of the bulk shipments to branches.

To date, 1,220 branches have registered to participate in the May 8 drive. Branch presidents should check the food drive page of the NALC website to make sure their branch is registered. Log on to: www.nalc.org/commun/foodrive.

The award is given annually by World Hunger Year (WHY) for exemplary work and dedication on issues of hunger and poverty on a local, national and worldwide level. The organization was co-founded in 1975 by the late singer-songwriter Harry Chapin and radio talk host Bill Ayres to attack the root causes of hunger and poverty.

President Young has been invited to accept the honor at the awards dinner  May 3 in New York City.

Joining Young and Potter as 2004 Honorees are famed singer Emmylou Harris, who has often performed at Second Harvest Food Bank benefits in Nashville; legendary WCBS-FM (New York) broadcaster Bruce "Cousin Brucie" Morrow, who has worked with WHY as "Hungerthon" chairman annually; and Carla Sangar, president of the LA's Best After School Enrichment Program, which provides a safe and enriching environment for 19,000 children in at-risk neighborhood in Los Angeles.

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) is serving as honorary chair of the awards dinner.

 

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  Annual Publication of COLCPE Donors
    The NALC is instituting a new, special edition of the Postal Record to thank members of the union who donate to the Committee on Letter Carriers Political Education (COLCPE). The first edition, which will include all donations during 2004, will appear early next year.

As a result, monthly lists of COLCPE donations in the Postal Record will cease, beginning with the March 2004 issue.

 

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  Tentative Agreement in Grocery Strike
   

United Food and Commercial Workers President Doug Dority on February 27 announced that a tentative agreement had been reached in the five-month strike/lockout with three major grocery chains and subsidiary stores in California.

The NALC had strongly supported the UFCW in its effort to protect health care and retirement benefits for some 70,000 workers affected by the strike/lockout involving Safeway, Kroger and Albertsons grocery chains.

Voting by the UFCW membership on the contract was to begin immediately.

 

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