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NALC response to the USPS proposal to reduce services in an effort to trim losses

In response to the Postal Service's proposal Thursday to reduce services in an effort to trim losses, the NALC issued the following statement:

The National Association of Letter Carriers will study the Postal Service's new business plan in more detail over the next few days, but any plan that calls for cutting Saturday delivery, downsizing our networks and slowing delivery will not restore USPS to profitability. Charging more for reduced service is not a rational plan for any business, including the U.S. Postal Service. What is needed is a forward-looking plan to meet the needs of an evolving society.

It is important to note that the Postal Service's financial statement last week reported a $200 million operational profit delivering the mail for the first quarter of 2012. Almost all of the $3.3 billion in red ink the Postal Service recorded resulted from the $3.1 billion it owed to pre-fund future retiree health benefits, a mandate Congress has imposed only on the Postal Service.

Since this unnecessary burden accounts for almost 90 percent of the Postal Service's red ink since Congress imposed this mandate in 2006, lawmakers should address that problem immediately. Then, all postal stakeholders can address the very real challenges that exist, but we should not dismantle a unique universal delivery network that provides Americans with the best and most affordable postal service anywhere—without a dime of taxpayer money.

With 7.5 million private-sector jobs depending on a strong Postal Service, changes need to be made urgently, but thoughtfully. NALC is aggressively engaged with members of Congress and the postal industry to make that happen.