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Statement of NALC President Fredric Rolando following today’s Senate vote on S. 1789

The Senate voted Tuesday to begin the slow dismantling of the United States Postal Service and to attack injured postal workers by slashing their workers’ compensation benefits.

The NALC has argued for months that S. 1789 would fail to preserve the long-term viability of the Postal Service because it embraces the downsizing plans of Postmaster General Pat Donahoe. Today, by voting against an amendment offered by Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM) to preserve six-day delivery (by a vote of 56 to 43) and by voting to slash federal employee workers’ compensation benefits (by a vote of 53 to 46), the Senate has failed to improve a deeply flawed bill.

Senators ignored more than 25,000 phone calls from NALC members around the country Tuesday urging them to adopt these amendments. Now we have no choice now but to strongly oppose final passage of S. 1789, a vote on which is expected Wednesday in the Senate.

We cannot give up the fight for positive reform. So our first task must be to do everything we can defeat the 21st Century Postal Service Act when it comes up for a final vote tomorrow.

I urge you and every city letter carrier to call your two senators’ offices. Tell your senators to vote “NO” on S. 1789. (If you have trouble getting through, call the Capitol Hill switchboard, 202-224-3121, and ask to be transferred to your senators.)

I know all of you share my deep disappointment with today’s action on the amendments. But we cannot let that disappointment diminish our energy or silence our voices. We must send a message to our representatives in the Senate that we cannot save the Postal Service by dismantling its greatest asset—the last-mile delivery network that our members make real every day. And no reform can justify the punitive workers’ compensation reforms shoe-horned into this bill.

We’ve been knocked down, but we have to get up right away and continue the fight.

Tell your senators to vote NO Wednesday on final passage of S. 1789.

Whatever happens tomorrow in the Senate, the fight to save America’s Postal service will go on. A bill doesn’t become law until both houses of Congress passes it and the president signs it.

We have a long battle ahead of us. If we stay together and mobilize all of our resources, we can prevail.