Re: “Unions’ demands unrealistic” (letter, 2-8).
Richard Berman’s letter is another attempt to set the blame for the financial problems of the U.S. Postal Service on postal workers and their union. The statement that “unions are not interested in ensuring that their own members actually receive their retirement and health benefits” is absurd. The Center for Union Facts, which Berman represents, is an anti-union organization that will not disclose the persons or companies that donate the funds for its operation.
In 2006, Congress passed the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, which forced the USPS to prepay health care and retirement benefits for 75 years. This had to be done in 10 years. These payments have totaled $21 billion in the last four years. This requires the USPS to fund benefits for future employees who are not even born yet. This is a burden that no other agency endures and no private companies would even consider.
Congress was enabled, by the Constitution, to establish the Post Office. Congress has required the USPS to be fully funded by the sales of stamps and other services and not by tax dollars. Even conservatives should be delighted by this. Now Congress has found away to saddle the USPS with a financial burden that could completely destroy this institution.