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NALC President Rolando responds to Donahoe

Postmaster General Pat Donahoe’s unilateral and brazen plan to end Saturday mail delivery in August led many reporters at a press conference yesterday to question its legality, given Congress’ 30-year legislated policy to mandate six-day delivery. Donahoe was vague and evasive in responding. The PMG also made a number of claims about employee support for his plan. National Association of Letter Carriers President Fredric Rolando issued the following statement in response:

The PMG didn’t equivocate when he talked to me before unleashing a sneak attack on the nation’s postal customers, letter carriers and mailers who rely on Saturday delivery. He told me he plans to go ahead with his service- and job-killing plan, even if Congress extends next month the continuing resolution that mandates Saturday delivery. He’s essentially telling Congress to “Drop dead!”  He is presuming the right to override the will of America’s elected representatives.

Congress cannot let him get away with this arrogant power grab—not only because it will drive more business away and do irreparable harm to the Postal Service, but also because it will set the stage for a move to four-day and three-day delivery in the years ahead.

Donahoe told reporters that he talked to me before yesterday’s announcement and suggested that letter carriers and other postal employees are “fully supportive” of his plan. This is completely false. Let me respond to both points.

He did talk to me 18 hours before going public, but I made it absolutely clear that letter carriers totally oppose this destructive plan. I told him directly that we consider this an attack on letter carriers, the Postal Service’s customers and the American public, not to mention an affront to Congress. I informed him that I would direct our lawyers to take the most aggressive action possible to thwart his reckless plan.

Donahoe’s claim that postal employees support his self-destructive downsizing plan is plainly untrue—every union has announced its opposition. If he is truly willing to be guided by the views of the nation’s letter carriers, NALC would gladly agree to jointly commission a carrier poll on this matter, so long as the PMG is willing to be bound by the results. Otherwise, he should not arrogantly presume to speak for America’s letter carriers.

More than 90 percent of letter carriers voluntarily belong to the NALC; we are confident that they know what’s best for the Postal Service and its customers. They know what Donahoe seems not to understand: Slowing mail service and slashing service is not a winning business strategy.

Letter carriers, the core workforce of the United States Postal Service, have lost confidence in Postmaster General Donahoe. It is time for him to go.