The U.S. Postal Service reduced delivery standards today and began a process that will slow first-class mail delivery. As The Nation’s John Nichols writes, the service cutbacks come on the heels of record-breaking and successful holiday deliveries of 15.5 billion packages, letters and parcels by postal workers, letter carriers, mail handlers and rural carriers in weeks of “intense demanding, long-hours, late-night and weekend work.”
The promise of a robust national Postal Service [is] outlined in Article 1 of the United States Constitution. There is something profoundly wrong—not to mention profoundly absurd—about the notion that any federal official would abandon that promise and the workers who keep it.
In fact, he writes, “United States Postal Service employees get the job done, with a better track record of care and efficiency than private competitors.”
American Postal Workers Union ( APWU ) President Mark Dimondstein said:
It’s an outrage. Eight years after Congress ginned up a fake financial crisis for the Postal Service, its members still refuse to take even the smallest steps to prevent a major hit on this great national treasure.
APWU, the Letter Carriers , Mail Handlers and Rural Letter Carriers unions urged Congress to implement a one-year moratorium on the service cutbacks but lawmakers left town in December without acting. A group of 30 senators and representatives has called on the USPS to delay the changes.
There is no reason that the USPS cannot delay its consolidations to provide time for the public to see and comment on the service standard worksheets. It is only fair to allow the process to unfold in this way, and the USPS gains little by deciding to continue the consolidation process on its current, arbitrary timeline.