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Making our voices heard

NALC members in California joined several other unions and the San Diego-Imperial Counties Labor Council on Sept. 1 to personally protest Rep. Darrell Issa's failure to represent working families and his continuing attacks to destroy the United States Postal Service.

California letter carriers picket outside Rep. Darrel Issa's home office in Vista.

Since he took over as chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, one of Rep. Issa's main objectives has been to try to reduce the pay, benefits and collective-bargaining rights of postal employees. His legislation is designed to eliminate thousands of middle-class positions from the current Postal Service workforce and to close thousands of community post offices across the nation.

Also supporting the picket were (from l) NALC National Trustee and Los Angeles Br. 24 President Larry Brown, California State Chair John Beaumont and NALC Region 1 National Business Agent Chris Jackson.

This could be avoided if Rep. Issa would agree to endorse and move forward on H.R. 1351, a bill that would allow the USPS to use its pension surpluses to cover its pre-funding costs for future retiree health benefits, thereby resolving the immediate financial crisis without causing collateral damage. To date, the congressman seems to believe that the country would be better served by destroying the Postal Service instead of by saving it.

Now, the NALC has learned that Issa has launched an anti-USPS website. This website completely misleads the public by repeatedly threatening a taxpayer bailout unless the draconian cuts laid out in the Issa-Ross bill, H.R. 2309, are implemented. There is no mention of the solution offered by H.R. 1351, which is supported by nearly 200 House members from both parties. There is more than enough "postal money" out there to solve the Postal Service's financial hardships—caused almost entirely due to Congress' mandate to pre-fund future retiree health benefits in the first place—without needing to consider any taxpayer bailout of any kind.

The website comes complete with a YouTube video, a ticking countdown clock to a "Postal Default" and a survey that asks for the public's opinion on how to tackle the financial crisis facing the Postal Service. The survey, however, only offers either the provisions of the Issa-Ross bill or a taxpayer bailout as possible solutions to the Postal Service's financial difficulties.

Calling the website "an abuse of taxpayer money," NALC President Fredric V. Rolando sent an e-Activist alert to Rep. Issa's constituents in California's 49th Congressional District and asked them to demand that Issa's website be taken down and that he refrain from using his position as committee chairman to push his radical agenda on the American people.