April 12, 2018- President Trump issued an Executive Order to form a task force charged with evaluating the finances of the U.S. Postal Service including pricing, policies and workforce costs.
The White House reports that the Task Force will be comprised of multiple agency heads including the: Secretary of the Treasury as Chair; Director of the Office of Management and Budget; Director of the Office of Personnel Management; and other agency heads. The Executive Order goes on to highlight consultation with the Postmaster General and the Chairman of the Postal Regulatory Commission and the Secretary of Labor.
Postal Unions were not named in the EO as task force participants, however the Order does note that task force recommendations shall also consider the views of the USPS workforce; commercial, non-profit, and residential users of the USPS services; and competitors in the marketplace. In politics, it is often said that if you are not sitting at the table, you are being eaten for lunch. The leadership of the NPMHU believes that the voice of labor must be included in this USPS task force review. We will do everything possible to ensure that the interests of craft labor are properly represented.
In a report due (in 120 days) or no later than August 10, 2018, the task force will provide a “thorough evaluation of the operations and finance of the USPS, including: 1) the expansion and pricing of the package delivery market and the USPS’s role in competitive markets; 2) the decline in mail volume and its implications for USPS self-financing and the USPS monopoly over letter delivery and mailboxes; 3) the definition of the “universal service obligation” in light of changes in technology, e-commerce, marketing practices, and customer needs; 4) the USPS role in the U.S. economy and in rural areas, communities, and small towns; and 5) the state of the USPS business model, workforce, operations, costs, and pricing.”
The NPMHU remains committed to the mission of the United States Postal Service, one that includes affordable and universal service to all boundaries of the United States while providing fair wages and benefits to the workers that accomplish this mission daily. The most immediate step to secure financial relief and sustainability for the USPS would be to address the 2006 Congressional mandate to pre-fund retiree health benefits 75 years in advance – an onerous burden that no other private or public entity in America is required to carry.
“We will work with the White House, task force members and Congress, and will champion pro-active steps to restore financial stability to the Service while protecting all mail handlers,” said President Hogrogian.