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The Prez Says October 2002 (previous months)
by Ron Woods
Delivering Freedom was the theme of this year's National Convention. It was a very fitting theme considering we were in the birthplace of American Independence. Philadelphia is also the birthplace of the U.S. Postal Service. We were able to visit the first Post Office, which was started by Ben Franklin and is still a functioning Post Office today. It was an uplifting experience to visit so many historical sites, but I left the convention with some unsettling questions. How much longer are we as the Postal Service going to be delivering freedom. How much longer are the people of this great nation going to experience the freedom of knowing that they are going to receive mail 6 days a week and know who they will be receiving it from. All this at a fair and universal price no matter where they live.
One of the workshops I attended at the convention addressed some of these very questions. The workshop was entitled Postal Crisis, Fact or Fiction. It's been apparent to me that the Postal Service has been in a crisis for sometime, and this workshop validated my feelings. Whether or not the Postal Service will meet the challenges it faces and survive is still in question. The Postal Service is looking at the second straight year of deficits between 1 and 2 billion-dollar range and is rapidly approaching the 15 billion-dollar debt limit allowed by congress. One good thing that will happen if the Postal Service reaches its debt limit, it will force Congress to move on Postal Reform. I don't want to leave you with the feeling that there is no hope, there is hope and its up to all of us to get involved if the Postal Service is to survive. Our Country needs the Postal Service.
So what is needed if the Postal Service is going to survive? Congress has to move on a Postal Reform plan that is long term and that will enable us to compete equally with our competition in the technological age we are now in. Unfortunately it looks like Postal Reform has died in Congress again this year. We are now looking at the President forming a commission on Postal Reform. I have doubts that anything good will come if that happens, considering the fact the most Republicans are not Postal or Labor friendly. So what can we as carriers do to help insure the survival of the Postal Service and our jobs? We need to convince Congress that now is the time to move on Postal Reform. This is an election year and possibly the most important election year ever if you want to protect your job. We have friends in Congress who have promised to reintroduce legislation on Postal Reform in the next session. It is very important the each of us get involved in this election and vote for pro Postal candidates. Another thing we can do is follow the example of Australian postal workers who overcame a privatization effort in that country. They got public support behind them to convince their government that privatization was not in their best interest. We can help accomplish this by giving our customers the best possible service, despite management and their inept managerial abilities. It has become blatantly apparent that management has long forgotten that service makes up a large portion of what we stand for. If we fail on providing our nation with the quality service it expects, the Postal Service is doomed. There can be a future for the Postal Service and it starts with each and every one of us. You can make a difference. Don't forget to vote! Also contribute to COLCPE and IPAC, those contributions help the people that are hard at work on our behalf in Springfield and Washington.
Don't forget to buy your raffle tickets for the MDA fund-raiser, the drawing will be at the October 9th meeting, hope to see you then. See Cindy or Wes for tickets.