Detroit — In response to the United States Postal Service’s decision, Wednesday, to finalize the Next Generation Delivery Vehicle contract with Oshkosh Defense amid widespread concern over the contract’s environmental and community impact, including potential infractions of national environmental standards, UAW President Ray Curry issued the following statement:
“Modernizing the Postal Service fleet must both deliver significant investments in green, electric vehicles and create good, union jobs. USPS’s unilateral decision Wednesday to formalize its NGDV production without addressing serious concerns raised by the UAW, environmental advocates, the EPA and the White House is a troubling move that fails to live up to the needs of our next generation and flies in the face of the National Environmental Policy Act.
“The UAW submitted comments on the USPS Environmental Impact Study spotlighting the serious inadequacies with the review, including the out-right failure of the study to consider the impact of where and how the vehicles are produced. Barreling this contract through a flawed process is not how we deliver Next Generation vehicles.
“USPS can still determine the impact of its Next Generation vehicle contract on the environment by working with Oshkosh Defense to support good union jobs and utilize existing facilities in Wisconsin, where union workers have been building high-quality vehicles for government for decades. Workers and the environment are relying on USPS and the Biden Administration to take every possible step to ensure public dollars protect our next generation.”
The United States Postal Service (USPS) awarded Oshkosh Defense a multibillion-dollar contract to build up to 165,000 “next generation delivery vehicles” (NGDVs) over ten-years, despite Oshkosh Defense’s claims that they were not seeking the contract. Soon after, UAW Local 578 workers in Oshkosh started creating prototype parts and tools, preparing to build the vehicles in Oshkosh and celebrating the new work. But instead of doing the work in Oshkosh, the company announced the NGDV contract would be produced in a new facility in another state, continuing its run of disinvesting in Oshkosh communities.
Alarmed by the company’s falling investments in Oshkosh, UAW Local 578 leaders are raising their voices to demand Oshkosh Defense deliver more good-paying, union jobs: circulating a petition signed by the majority of the workforce, testifying to the USPS Board of Governors in Washington, D.C., penning local op-eds, and earning the support of local leaders including Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin, State Assembly members, and the Oshkosh Common Council.
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