Postal union begins TV ad campaign today

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The tug-of-war over the U.S. Postal Service’s very uncertain future hits the nation’s airwaves today with the kickoff of an American Postal Workers Union ad campaign that will run on national cable channels for up to two months.

Contrary to what you might expect, given how testy the debate is becoming, the 30-second spot doesn’t bash anyone. Instead, it highlights the fact that the Postal Service generally operates without taxpayer support.  While APWU members move millions of pounds of mail each day, the ad says, their work is “funded solely by stamps and postage.”

So what’s the point? In a release, APWU President Cliff Guffey describes a two-fold purpose. One is to help the union sign up new members, starting with an “organizing week” later this month. The other is to build support for congressional legislation that would let the Postal Service reclaim tens of billions of pension overpayments identified by the agency’s inspector general and an outside actuarial firm hired by the Postal Regulatory Commission.

The ad will run for one week on Fox, and about two months on CNN and MSNBC. In an email, APWU spokeswoman Sally Davidow declined to say how much the campaign is costing, but described it as “a substantial buy.” This isn’t the first time, incidentally, that the union—one of four that represents postal workers—has taken this approach. Most recently, Davidow said, the APWU ran ads in 2006 opposing the consolidation of some mail processing facilities.

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12 Comments

  1. Where is the APWU getting the money to run this campaign? With the millions spent on ads that money can be put to better use than to line the pockets of the media moguls.

  2. I’m not sure that the general public will, after seeing the ad, remember it or care. In their minds The P.O. is Government funded. Good luck, hope it works. As a retiree we all still have a stake in the future.

  3. M. Devito – where do you think it comes from, tax payers like most of uninformed America? Union dues, where else!

  4. Ed T, you’re reading with your eyes closed and listening with ear plugs. USPS IS NOT funded by TAX PAYER dollars!!!!!

  5. jasper, look at the punctuation in Ed T’s statement after the words “…..uninformed America?” Please note that it is a question mark. If some of the American Public realize that we are not tax funded and are owed hugh amounts of money back that two agencies have said we’ve over paid, then, perhaps they’ll start questioning their Congressional Representatives as to why this is happening. If this happens, then the money will have been well spent. As a Window Clerk when my customers ask me about this I give them a truthful answer.

  6. I don’t like the timing- the headlines are about the deadlock over raising the debt ceiling. Ifn it don’t matter to today’s issue it won’t be absorbed. It’s like running an ad in News of the World.

  7. Tax dollars? Union dues? Who cares? This is the single most positive action anyone has done for the workers who process the mail. It shows leadership among a host of unions and organizations that either can’t or won’t lead.

  8. What is this ad talking about? The Postal Service IS publically funded. The got $7 Billion from taxpayers this year and have gotten billions every year since they were privatized. Stamps, etc, do not begin to cover their costs. There are multiple post offices in every town in America and this is a huge waste of money. There is also senority based promotion (you work here long enough, you get management pay) as there is in all Government agencies. There is no reason to economize because the taxpayers make up the difference. This commercial is a filthy lie.

  9. Steven is the kind of lazy idiot who believes whatever he feels like believing whenever he feels like it. The kind of hate spewing cave-dweller who would never let facts get in the way of his vitriol. In his defense, I’m sure he doesn’t know the facts. Facts?? What facts??

  10. That ad is a crock,they do not pay income taxes and they do not pay registration fees,so how is it not costing tax payers anything?

  11. The U.S. Treasury funds the U.S. Postal Service using a mechanism other than direct funding. Instead, the Treasury loans the U.S.P.S. money at 0% interest. In other words, this is “federal funding” of the U.S.P.S.–it is a semi-governmental agency of the federal government and depends on the federal government to survive. Currently, the U.S.P.S. has borrowed so much from the U.S. Treasury that it is about to default on the loan. If Congress acts to relieve the U.S.P.S. of its loan, then the U.S.P.S. will be “directly funded” by the federal government, but this is all a matter of semantics. What matters is that the U.S.P.S. must reform, bring its costs in line with its revenues, and figure out how to pay back the loan to the U.S. Treasury.

  12. Pingback: Fedline » Colbert unveils ‘Farewell to Postage’ stamp

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