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VIRGINIA LETTER CARRIERS TO LOBBY FOR HATCH ACT REFORM LEGISLATION

VIRGINIA LETTER CARRIERS TO LOBBY FOR HATCH ACT REFORM LEGISLATION
 VIRGINIA BEACH, Va., March 17 /PRNewswire/ -- A large delegation of Virginia members of the National Association of Letter Carriers (AFL-CIO) is heading to Washington to urge Congress to end political discrimination against 3 million postal and federal employees and to oppose Bush administration budget proposals that could severely harm mail delivery to postal customers.
 The union members plan to ask senators and representatives to quickly enact reforms in the 1939 Hatch Act to end political discrimination against 3 million federal and postal employees. While in Washington, they also will express their outrage at efforts to privatize operations of the U.S. Postal Service.
 Richard Gentry, president of the Virginia State Association of Letter Carriers, said the state's delegation would be in the nation's capital on March 23 and 24 to lobby senators and representatives in their offices. The annual Virginia congressional breakfast is scheduled March 24 at the Quality Hotel on Capitol Hill.
 Gentry said the carriers will deliver their legislative message about the need for Hatch Act reform and their opposition to the Bush budget directly to members of the House and Senate from Virginia. They are scheduled to meet with Sens. John Warner (R-Va.) and Charles Robb (D-Va.) as well as members of the House delegation.
 Gentry assailed the administration's plan in the 1993 budget to eliminate the requirement for six-day mail delivery; to severely cut reimbursement to the Postal Service for reduced postal rates for charities and other non-profit groups, and to require the Postal Service to pay the government nearly $1 billion over the next three years for past health benefits and cost-of-living adjustments for postal retirees.
 "The administration's budget will only cause higher postal rates and reduced service to American consumers," Gentry said. "It's just a back-door ploy to try to fool the American people into supporting privatization of the Postal Service.
 "I'm sure that the people of Virginia can see that the Bush administration is trying to pull a fast one," Gentry said. "I believe that people all over the nation will realize the Bush budget is just a lot of blue smoke and mirrors and really is no answer to the recession."
 NALC-endorsed legislation has been introduced in both the House and Senate to reform the Hatch Act. The bills would allow federal and postal employees -- like other Americans -- to engage in a greater degree of political activity when off-duty and out of uniform. The bills continue stiff punishment against any effort to coerce the public or fellow employees.
 NALC President Vincent R. Sombrotto said the two-day trip by Virginia letter carriers to Washington is a vital part of the legislative effort of the 307,000-member AFL-CIO union.
 "Letter carriers walking their daily routes hear the concerns of people in every corner of every town in America," Sombrotto said. "They are the pulse of the nation, and we plan to deliver their message to our senators and representatives."
 -0- 3/17/92
 /CONTACT: Richard Gentry of the Virginia State Association of Letter Carriers, 804-426-7815, or Drew Von Bergen of the National Association of Letter Carriers, 202-662-2489/ CO: Virginia State Association of Letter Carriers; National
 Association of Letter Carriers ST: Virginia IN: SU: LEG


DC-MH -- DC014 -- 8753 03/17/92 11:28 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 17, 1992
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