The Case Against S. 1789

It’s a short-term fix, not a long-term solution

Ending Saturday delivery:
Degrading the last mile network, weakening privacy protections

Inadequate financial provisions:
Pensions and retiree health pre-funding

Negative impact on postal workers:
Interfering with collective bargaining and punishing injured workers

The positive elements of S. 1789

What can Senators do to repair the bill

    Updated May 21, 2012    

The Case Against S. 1789

Ending Saturday delivery:
Degrading the last mile network,
weakening privacy protections

S. 1789 authorizes the Postal Service to transition to five-day delivery after two years, provided it convinces the GAO (to be confirmed by the PRC) that the change is necessary to achieve long-term solvency. Since the postmaster general and the GAO already have reached this conclusion and have endorsed five-day delivery, and given the excessive burden of pre-funding mandated by the bill, this provision guarantees the elimination of Saturday delivery and 80,000 full- and part-time jobs. (Source: USPS estimates provided to the four postal unions.)

Once the USPS eliminates Saturday delivery, the bill opens for the first time access to Americans’ mailboxes by unaccountable and unknown delivery companies on days that the USPS does not deliver. (See Section 108(b)(2) of the bill.) This would open household mailboxes to strangers on Saturday and Sunday. This provision is limited to periodical deliveries for now but, if enacted, it would create immediate privacy and accountability problems and surely lead to demands for total deregulation of the mailbox. Exclusive access to the mailbox is essential to protect the sanctity of the mail by making the Postal Service accountable for policing what gets put in (or taken out) of mailboxes. It also is necessary to enforce the private express statutes, which help to keep universal mail service affordable for all.

Eliminating Saturday delivery, in combination with other USPS plans to reduce delivery service standards through plant closings and to drastically cut retail hours in nearly 14,000 of the nation’s post offices, will dramatically reduce the speed and quality of mail service in the U.S. These changes are penny wise and pound foolish. They will drive away more letter mail volume and undermine the Postal Service’s key growth sector: parcel delivery. Indeed, an analysis by a contractor for the Postal Service, that emerged during the PRC’s review of the USPS’s network optimization plan, found that the whole range of the service cuts planned for in March 2012 would cut mail volume by 7.7 percent and reduce revenues by $5.3 billion, more than offsetting the $3.3 billion in cost savings projected. (Source: ORC International, “All Source Market Research Preliminary Findings,” submitted to PRC, Docket N2012-1.)

Negative impact on postal workers:
interfering with collective bargaining and punishing injured workers

  © National Association of Letter Carriers, AFL-CIO