Even if fewer people mail their income tax returns in this era of electronic everything, plenty of last-minute filers will likely be showing up at post offices today to meet the IRS’ deadline. Two unions plan to use the opportunity to press their case against proposed U.S. Postal Service cutbacks.
The American Postal Workers Union and the National Postal Mail Handlers Union are teaming up to do “informational leafleting” at numerous post offices around the country, particularly those that draw media coverage because they stay open late.
“We’re trying to just educate the public as to what would happen to the Postal Service if Congress doesn’t act,” NPMHU President John Hegarty said in a phone interview Monday.
In an apparent coincidence, the Senate will again try today to take up a bill that—as originally proposed—would let the Postal Service tap surplus pension contributions to pay for buyouts and early retirement incentives for up to 100,000 USPS employees. A procedural vote to move forward is set for 11:10 a.m. Washington time. Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., and the bill’s other sponsors will need 60 votes to prevail; a first try last month garnered only 51. If they prevail in this round, they are expected to proceed with an amended bill that could be quite different from the original measure.
The Postal Service, which has lost almost $14 billion in the last two years, says it has to close post offices, slash the number of mail processing plants and end most Saturday delivery under a long-term plan to regain profitability. But postal unions say the cutbacks would “inflict long-term damage to the nation’s mail system,” according to a copy of the leaflet to be distributed tomorrow.
[Post updated at 9:14 a.m. Tuesday to note Senate vote this morning.]]