Postal Union Pickets Senator's Offices to Protest Reform Impasse

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Active and retired Missouri-based members of the National Association of Letter Carriers demonstrated yesterday at the offices of Sen. Christopher S. Bond, R-MO, in four Missouri cities to protest his blockage of postal reform legislation.


Bond placed a hold on S. 662, the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2005, because he wants language inserted that would let mailers challenge prices for First-Class mail if they think the rates are not "fair and equitable." Bond has said the provision, which is backed by Kansas City, MO-based Hallmark and other companies that rely on First-Class mail, would protect consumers from being hit with higher rates to subsidize discounts for large bulk mailers.


One of the bill's sponsor, Sen. Susan Collins, R-ME, has said Bond's language would reduce the U.S. Postal Service's flexibility to set its own rates. Large catalog mailers such as L.L. Bean, Freeport, ME, agree with Collins, as does the USPS.


The Senate returns from its Thanksgiving break on Monday.


"We had hoped that this action would not be necessary," NALC president William H. Young said in a statement. "But the refusal by Senator Bond to lift his 'hold' on the bill and allow an up-or-down vote before Congress adjourns for the year leaves us no alternative."


More picketing is being planned for other cities in Missouri this week, Young said. In a letter last month, Young told Bond that the rate increases could have been avoided if Congress had passed reform. The House passed similar legislation in July.


The NALC has 220,000 active city delivery letter carriers as members in all 50 states and U.S. jurisdictions, including 4,200 active letter carriers in Missouri.


Melissa Campanelli covers postal news, CRM and database marketing for DM News and DMNews.com. To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting www.dmnews.com/newsletters


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