Issa, labor clash over five-day mail delivery


Postal unions and Rep. Darrell Issa are mixing it up again.

This time it’s over the California Republican’s bid to scrap a long-standing congressional requirement for the U.S. Postal Service to deliver mail six days a week. That requirement is the main obstacle to the Postal Service’s ending most Saturday delivery, a step the agency says will save $3 billion per year.

In a letter last month, Issa asked Rep. Jo Ann Emerson, R-Mo., to drop the six-day language from an appropriations bill that her financial services subcommittee was drafting. Emerson didn’t go along, but Issa, who chairs the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, followed up this week with a separate letter to House Rules Committee Chairman David Dreier, R-Calif., essentially asking for the chance to challenge the provision during debate by the full House.

But in a note on its web site, the National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association says that five-day delivery would cost at least 80,000 jobs and urges members “to call, not email” a long list of lawmakers who could decide the issue.


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  1. Dear Rep Issa,
    postal customers receive their prescriptions in the mail six days a week, and I feel that they deserve the right for this service. The Postal Service earns millions of dollars in contracts for prescriptions, and you are putting this into jeopardy.

  2. why in this day and age would you actively try to get rid of so many middle class jobs that are the backbone of your tax base ? also, the usps does not want a taxpayer bailout, it just wants to be free of its overpayments to retirement healthcare as all the other federal entities are ( even though they are supposed to prefund as we do). Issa is such a stereotypical republican, always for big money and not for working class americans.

  3. We really just want to be able to support our families. I’m terrified of losing my job over petty political angling. Issa the criminal (look it up) just keeps lying about the cause of this mess. The OIG, Postmaster General, Postal Regulatory Commission, Senator’s, and congressman all agree on what the cause of our problem is and it’s not Saturday. We’ve weathered a lot of storms in our 200 year history this is just another. Please Representative Issa please fix the real problem and let us keep our jobs.

  4. another 80,000 out of work , add that to the 220,000 already let go at the PO and we have our economic disaster. The same economic disaster the PO says are at the root of the money problems. Wait that was last week cry.

  5. Jeff is talking out his butt for lack of information. In Issa’s Legislation he wants to allow the Postal Service to decid how many days to deliver mail and it would also set up a board that could override the Post Office if the parties got an agreement during negotations and they didnt like it to have them re-do the negotations. They should not interfer in management and union negotations as we are not allowed to interfer in there matters.

  6. If the USPS stops Saturday delivery, the UPS and FedEx will be quick to move in and offer Saturday delivery at no extra charge. This will further decrease the USPS revenue in a class of mail (parcels) that is growing and profitable. 5 day is a bad idea.

  7. Six day delivery is important for all of America. Rural areas rely on delivery of medications and other important items. Besides, the unemployment rolls don’t need another 80,000+ members.

    The Postal Service would be solvent and this would not be an issue if the pre-funding of the retirement issue was fixed.

    Maybe Issa should be stumping for that. Naw, he’s too busy getting campaign funds from UPS. Coincidence? I think not.

  8. 5-day delivery may make sense to you, but you are not a senior citizen, living in a rural area, receiving their prescriptions through the mail or a small business mailing and receiving pkgs that keep their businesses going.

  9. Five day mail delivery is not a solution to the USPS problems. I believe it would do more harm than good. Mail carriers deliver and pick up medicines, financial transaction items, entertainment items, and general mail six days a week for a reason. A huge amount of businesses conduct their business on Saturdays. Does that mean they should close on Saturday too if the post office doesn’t pick up their mail? Has anyone considered that if there were no Saturday delivery that people that run out of their medicines on Friday will have to wait until LATE Monday to get their medicines. There are shut-ins or people that have no way to make a quick run to the pharmacy to pick up a few pills to last them until theirs comes in the mail. The mail volume on Monday would be so heavy that there would have to be extra carriers and/or overtime hours to handle the volumes. And God forbid the day after a holiday that falls on Monday! This has nothing to do with “the union” not wanting a cut in rank and file. The union is fighting for the postal service and its employees. If another day besides Saturday were to be eliminated, that still makes a minimum of three days a week where extra manpower/overtime would be requried. (Monday because there is no Sunday letter delivery and mail volume is heavy, Tuesday or Wednesday due to full coverage weekly circulars from grocery stores and etc, and then the day after the day during the week the postal service would not deliver the mail. No money/labor savings.) The postal service needs to expand its parcel shipping capabilities, and continue to find more efficient ways to do things. They already have eliminated and are still eliminating upper management positions. Which is a very good step. They also need to get rid of the people that all they sit around and do all day is run reports and nitpick the carriers to death with the information. Should a carrier REALLY have to justify going over his route time by 100th of an hour? (less than a minute) Also, they need to cut this “bonus” or “encentive” pay out completely for postmasters and the ungodly one that the PM General gets too! The postal service is a Non-profit organization that is not supposed to make money, it just needs to find ways to sustain mail delivery. The postal service needs to go ahead and offer incentives to get people who have been carriers for a long time to retire. That IS what alot of them are waiting on. They need to continue to get rid of people that have been on “light” or “limited” duty, milking it for years. If you can’t do your job, get out! If you were hurt at work and there is no future for you left in mail delivery, then that is what disability and workmens comp handles. I am just saying that there are alot of ways for the USPS to save money and not put thousands of people out of work by switching to a 5 day delivery.

  10. The unions don’t want to pay more taxes so more people can get unemployment insurance. I suppose Jeff is on disability and surely an Obama (osama) supporter. Get a job boy.

  11. I was in a small post office in DC and the computers were down for a second time and it had to close again. Seems like an ongoing problem. For some reason they did not have a self-service kiosk which I often use at other post offices. I would say to spread the use of self-service kiosks and large deposit boxes for packages — put them in Staples, UPS stores, and other places like government buildings. Close down these small post offices and cut the delivery to 5 days.

    If not this, then sell off the post office duties. Allow private industry to buy the first class letter delivery, package delivery, bulk mail delivery, and even buy the post office locations. Don’t allow one company to buy up everything, but spread it out for competition.

  12. Has anyone read about D. Issa on Wikipedia? Stealing Cars, Lying about service records. Total Scum. The weed must be good in California to elect this guy!

  13. five day delivery does not make sense.what the postal service would lose is more than it would gain from five day the long run. once lost , they will never be able to get it back

  14. mr issa, is trying to take out the postal service down, five day would kill the service, its the only advantage they have over other carriers , ups and fedx and others , you can say they don,t delviver on saturdays and you would be right , and its because the postal service always has!!!! mr issa should just shut up, if you live in calfornia YOU SHOULD VOTE HIM OUT

  15. if the usps stops delivering mail on saturdays, a lot of people won’t get my pizza coupons until monday!! people need the pizza coupons on saturday!! this is important mail!!

  16. I’m a mail carrier and I see a lot of people who work 5 days a week and Saturdays are their only days to really get to the Post Office and mail packages etc… This will only allow UPS and FEDEX to pick up the pieces. It will be a total collapse if 5 day delivery happens. 1st and 2nd class mail is at it’s lowest it’s ever been, but junk mail (crap we all hate) is at it’s highest. Stupid Penny Savers, Merchandisers, Clipper Magazines, as much as I hate them, they are providing me a job.

  17. James is right. If the Postal Service doesn’t deliver items on Saturday someone else will pick it up. Especaily drugs and other items people are in need of. So, it isn’t like the service isn’t needed. Only that they want to take the Postal Service out of that duty. But, who delivers every household six days a week no matter where they are? Other companies might wait until it was profitable to make that delivery.

  18. The United States Postal Service is the only six day service. You don’t see UPS making deliveries on Saturday. If you get your Government check on the 3rd of the month and it happens to fall on a Saturday but there is no Saturday delivery…guess what… you have to wait until Monday.

  19. Less than a third of those jobs lost are members of the union (ie, dues-payers). Sort of blows the first comment out of the water. Yes, cutting Saturday will only increase the problem. The $3 billion saved per year is way overblown and will do very little to help. What’s next- cut Monday, then Tuesday?

  20. What you do not understand is that cutting to 5 day delivery will place an unimaginable work load on the USPS employees. Unless you understand our workload you will have no idea what this means. Monday is our longest day of the week, the mail moves on a 24 hour clock. Mail is still processed on Sunday and builds up, so this would mean that mail would build up for 2 days and we would still be expected to carry all of that mail on Monday. Throw a holiday on Monday in there and you are looking at an almost impossible situation. Please don’t tell us how or give opinions on a job you have no clue as to how it goes. I would never tell someone else how to manage and run their business when I did not know the day to day operations.

  21. the postal service will be no more within 5-10 years.I bet out of the 500,00 employees 90 percent pay their bills other than by mail.

  22. If you live in the suburbs or in the city, you don’t realize the disadvantages of five day delivery. If you happen to live in a rural area where the Postal Service is the way you receive your medicine, packages, and personal mail, then you realize all that you’re giving up for five day delivery.

  23. jeff, are you a postal worker? shame on you. if not wake up. if the post office gave up a day of service someone else will come in to deliver. ups has talked about delivering on saturday, even though both ups and fedex are on a skeleton crew. congress is the ones to decide and i/we hope they keep the american people as well as the postal employees in mind and keep 6-day delivery

  24. The politics displayed by Issa and his cohorts have destoyed the American dream -one company after another-one job after another-eliminated! Americans can no longer own homes and support families because men like Issa have given themselves the power to change lives thru deceit and misinformation. Thet pit workers against workers when, all workers should be united in their stand against these liars. When is having a decent job a sign of excess? When is having health care a sign of excess? Never. It should be our right as Americans. And those that we have voted in office,men like Issa, want to take our rights away because they have allowed businesses and corporate interests (stockholders) to dictate the destruction of decent jobs for all. Anger should be expressed,not at those that have jobs, but at men like Issa that have outsourced jobs at the expense of decent wages for all Americans.

  25. 5 Day delivery will NOT cause a backlog on Mondays(or Tues if Monday is a holiday). The Postmaster in my office curtails all bulk mail then spreads it out over the next 2-3 work days. He has been known to curtail even 1st class mail if needed. I personally don’t condone delaying 1st class mail but it happens. Regular carriers will actually see a boost in salary since six days pay will then be paid for 5 days work. Substitute carriers will no longer be needed on Saturdays. Businesses will adjust to no Sat deliveries just as they have to no Sunday deliveries. As a postal employee, I can attest to the fact that the main financial problem within the Postal System is the HIGH salaries paid to white-collar workers who have probably never received a letter in their life. Yet they attempt to tell those who do, how to do their job. I have always said those who don’t actually handle the mail just get out. These non-productive high salaried employees are the cause of the postal deficit. Couple that with the high gasoline price and there will soon be NO Postal Service……5 or 6 day.

  26. The politics displayed by Issa and his cohorts have destroyed the American dream -one company after another-one job after another eliminated! Americans can no longer own homes and support families because men like Issa have given themselves the power to change lives thru deceit and misinformation. They pit workers against workers when all workers should be united in their stand against these liars. When is having a decent job a sign of excess? When is having health care a sign of excess? When is having a retirement plan that barely covers monthly expenses a sign of excess. Never. It should be our right as Americans. Politicans like Issa don’t have to worry about health care or retirement plans because they are protected by elite retirement and health plans funded by citizens’s tax dollars at minamal cost to them. Men like Issa, want to take our rights away because they have allowed businesses and corporate interests (stockholders) to dictate the destruction of decent jobs for all. Anger should be expressed,not at those that have jobs, but at men like Issa that have outsourced jobs at the expense of decent wages for all Americans. We have allowed ourselves to be conned by them into somehow thinking that it is our fault when it is our congressmen and our representatives who sell their souls and expect us to redeem them. Write and call them. Tell them how angry you are and that their treacherous actions will not be tolerated anymore. Vote them out!

  27. @Jim. You can’t possibly be a postal worker. Any postal worker would know that there is no way you’re going to get six days pay for five days work. That doesn’t even make sense. If you ARE a postal worker, you’re an idiot.

  28. I agree with the comments about people relying on the Postal Service to deliver medications on Saturdays. Instead of completely cutting out Saturday delivery they should consider delivering Express, Priority, and First Class Mail only. Also any accountable mail since many more customers would be home. My understanding is that the offices would stay open for PO Box customers (they would get Sat. mail) and Lobby Services. They could probably get by with half the carriers because the volume would be low. Also, depending on the size of the office the number of clerks would be less.

    I also agree that if we didn’t need to pre-fund potential retirees health care plans and were given back the over payments into the CSR and FER’s retirement plans we would be financially solvent. Obama has admitted that the overpayments are owed back to the Postal Service, but the Government doesn’t have it to give back to us. What is the Government doing with our money anyway? It didn’t come from tax dollars, but from revenue from stamps, postage, bulk mail, and all the other services we offer. The APWU just released a commercial along these lines.

    Do we need changes to save the Service and our jobs? Yes. Should politicians be making these decisions? No. Perhaps if a committee were formed that had Postal, Union, and Politicians on it they could make better decisions. That way all three groups could voice their concerns and ideas.

  29. Being on the outside looking in and reading all the comments about a solution to your problems as a rural carrier. Why not mail your comments? It would boost your letter count. How many of you email your friends and family instead of using snail mail? Wanting the older generation to retire early would cost them what they have worked for in the long run. Also prefunding your retirement is a possitive thing for all of you carriers. If it didn’t go in now, you can bet your butt it wouldn’t be there for you later. and saying going to 5 days instead of six day delivery would cost 80,000 jobs and in the same breath asking your older carriers to get out is about two faced as it get’s. Why not take a cut in pay and save your union and all it’s carriers instead of placing blame on the Gov.
    Just wondering:)

  30. I think the post office would benefit from a major overhauling from top to bottom. I have been a letter carrier for 27 years and there is way too much fat. and I think that the routes need to be re-evaluated. I know of routes at my office that are way too small and some that are way too big. If you have a fast pace like I do, you get “rewarded” with a large route. and conversely, if you have a slow pace you get a much smaller route. and there is no pay differential. so the lesson learned here is to go slow. I know of one carrier who is through everyday by noon but he goes and hides out for 2-3 hours until it is time to come in. and he has a copy of his scan points bar codes so he can make it look like he is finishing at the time he is supposed to. a really fair system wouldn’t you say??

  31. On one hand it would be nice to work 5days and have every to do things with my family. As far as loosing 80,000 jobs…in my office they have been holding 3 routes open in anticipation of mail handlers or clerks loosing their jobs for 3 years. We have three T6s so if we go to 5 days they still have a job.
    If the PO is in such dire condition my suggestion would be for each office to do away with supervisors. We know what to do !We don’t need to be constintly babysat or have a supervisor follow us for two hours or more on the street .
    I have also been told by several older carriers that if the PO came up with a decent buyout that they would retire and that would open up more jobs.
    Wish I had the route that could run for 3 hours and then go hide for the rest..Those days are long gone unless you are a newbe and want to run the routes to impress mgmt. And then mgmt will just add to your route.
    As always just do the best you can. Hopefully there will still be a PO for me to retire from when its my time.If we need to go to 5day to keep the PO then I’m for it.

  32. Fellow postal employees please brace your household budgets for the inevitable. We will for a fact be going to five day delivery. It would be irresponsible for you to budget off of a hope that it does not happen. Start skimming over the help wanted adds and look into those college courses you meant to get to some day. I am sorry, but anyone with less than 6 years will most likely be gone before October 2011.

  33. Rep. Issa is representing some secret lobbyists Im afraid. His obsession with destroying the P.O. Is rather intriguing dont you think?

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