WASHINGTON – Letter carriers union President William H. Young urged Congress today to block the U.S. Postal Service from contracting out mail delivery to private enterprises whose workers receive low pay and no benefits. He called the Postal Service’s decision to expand this policy to urban and suburban areas “a very serious threat to the quality and sustainability of the Postal Service.”
“Employing part-time, low-wage workers with no benefits will harm service over time,” Young told a hearing of the Federal Workforce, Postal Service and District of Columbia Subcommittee of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. “The inevitable high level of turnover among contract carriers will break the trust Americans have developed with the Postal Service through their long-term contact with dedicated, career letter carriers.”
Young said the Postal Service appears dead set on a policy of outsourcing new deliveries across the country. He said while it currently is only a small percentage of total deliveries, with 1 million to 2 million new deliveries each year, it won’t be long before it begins to affect the quality of service.
“Congress should act to stop the cancer of contracting out now before it spreads and undermines the most affordable and efficient post office in the world,” Young said.
He cited recent USPS decisions to outsource hundreds of deliveries in new buildings in New York City and Oregon as example of a depressing picture in the Postal Service.
Young said the Postal Service “has clearly signaled its intent to give as many new deliveries as possible to low-wage, no benefit contractors.”
“If this is not stopped now, a two-tier system of mail delivery will develop in this country,” Young said. “In 10 to 15 years, there could be tens of thousands of contractors out there.