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Leave the Mails Alone

June 12, 1988

This letter is in response to the column written by Roger Simon, which appeared April 8 ("It's Time to Service the Postal Service").

Simon's background was a short stint with the Post Office when he was in school about 20 years ago.

He writes that he saw mail fall to the floor where "it might stay" for a "day or two." I suspect this might be the reason he only worked for the Post Office for "a couple of months." Common sense dictates that if he saw mail fall on the floor, that he was just as responsible to pick it up as anybody and should have done so immediately.

I invite Simon to carry a route under today's conditions. He will find a workday that will be the toughest that he has probably seen in years. For every 10 people hired by the Postal Service, two or three fail the driving test, and five or six people don't pass the 90-day probationary period or quit because the work is too demanding.

Because of its employees, the U.S. Postal Service is the best in the world. We are moving more mail, faster than ever before. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, postal employee output per work year increased by 22% in the 15 fiscal years following 1971 postal reorganization. Mail volume increased 76.5% between fiscal years 1971 and 1987, while postal employment only increased by 9.7%. The service provided to the American public is the best and least expensive than in any other country in the free world. A sample of the postage rates for the first unit of domestic letter postage in these countries:

Canada--37 cents (29.5 cents U.S.)

Switzerland--50 francs (35.6 cents)

France--2.20 francs (38.3 cents)

Japan--60 yen (46.5 cents)

Germany--80 marks (47.2 cents)

Italy--600 lira (48.0 cents)

The U.S. Postal Service provides excellent service at reasonable cost, which is made possible by a regulated monopoly. The Postal Service promotes a national commercial market, ensures the free flow of ideas and protects the sanctity of the mails. This would not be the case if the Postal Service were to be privatized as advocated by Simon in his column.

The U.S. Postal Service continues to receive overwhelming public support. If it were not for James Miller, Office of Management and the Budget director, and other officials in the Reagan Administration who are out to destroy the Postal Service, there would be no talk whatsoever of privatizing the Postal Service.

JON GUANCE

President Branch No. 2902

National Assn. of

Letter Carriers, AFL-CIO

Chatsworth

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