By Mark Dimondstein
We are pleased that some working families will be getting a check as a result of the $2.2 trillion stimulus but are also aware that those gains were paired with a corporate bailout of hundreds of billions of dollars. The final language of this bill reflects the Postal Service was all but cut out of the economic relief many private corporations will receive.
“It’s outrageous that the stimulus bill passed by Congress doesn’t include any financial support for the USPS,” said President Mark Dimondstein. “Including needed funds to provide for the safety of workers and the mailing public.”
Initial language included in the House bill introduced on March 23, Take Responsibility for Workers and Family Act, included strong postal provisions the postal unions worked with our allies in Congress to secure:
· A $25 billion emergency appropriation to the Postal Service for revenue forgone during the COVID-19 crisis.
· A repeal of the prefunding mandate established by the 2006 PAEA.
· Forgiveness of $11 billion in outstanding debt.
· Repeal of the $3 billion annual limit on use of the Postal Service’s $15 billion in borrowing authority.
Unfortunately, despite the critical service the public Postal Service is providing during this time of crisis, as negotiations progressed with the Senate and the White House, the USPS was left with only a $10 billion line of credit, which, if utilized, would only further add to their debt. This was not only offensive to postal workers but demonstrates the continued disrespect this administration has for the valuable role of the public Postal Service.
“Postal Workers are on the frontlines each day ensuring that the millions of Americans whose lives have been disrupted can still receive deliveries of vital supplies and medicines,” said Legislative & Political Director Judy Beard. “The Postal Service is uniquely positioned to serve the public as it has done throughout many other moments of national turmoil.”
We expect a fourth stimulus bill to be introduced to address the shortcomings of this recent legislation. Not only is the future of the Postal Service at stake, but working families will also need more relief than only a one-time check. The APWU will continue to work with our sister postal unions and allies to advocate for strong legislation to swiftly address the financial crisis the Postal Service is facing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
APWU is also meeting with Congress to seek help to get safety equipment to post offices nationwide. The safety and health of our members remains our top priority.