Nationwide rallies urge Congress to save USPS

On Tuesday, Sept. 27, members of the four employee unions of the U.S. Postal Service were joined by their community supporters at informational rallies nationwide — including 11 in Washington state –urging Congress to “Save America’s Postal Service.” Thousands of citizens stood alongside members of the American Postal Workers Union, the National Association of Letter Carriers, the National Postal Mail Handlers Union, and the National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association to demonstrate their support for preserving USPS service.

The public has been largely misinformed about the financial status of the Postal Service. Over the past four fiscal years, despite the worst recession in decades, the Postal Service had a net surplus of $611 million delivering the mail. It has tens of billions of dollars in surplus funds in its accounts. It uses no taxpayer money and hasn’t for 30 years; it derives its revenue from the sale of stamps and services.

There are financial problems at the USPS, but they have little to do with the mail. Rather, they were caused by congressional actions that lawmakers can easily fix — without using a dime of taxpayer money. Congress passed a 2006 law requiring the Postal Service to pre-fund future retiree health care costs in a way no other public or private entity does; moreover, it lacks access to billions of dollars of its own money.

Tuesday’s informational rallies were in support of H.R. 1351, legislation now before Congress that addresses the primary cause of the financial crisis by correcting the unfair pre-funding mandate imposed by Congress.

Proposed cuts in delivery days, the shutting of post offices and mail processing facilities and the degradation of services are unnecessary — and destructive. They would particularly hurt small businesses, the elderly, rural areas, communities around the country — and they would begin the dismantling of one of America’s oldest and most trusted institutions, one that provides Americans with the most efficient and inexpensive mail system in the world.

They would damage the U.S. economy at a time we can least afford it. The Postal Service is the heart of a $1.3 trillion mailing industry that supports 9 million jobs and that has had job stability even during the recession. Weakening the Postal Service will jeopardize hundreds of thousands of jobs, unnecessarily. If Congress acts responsibly, the Postal Service can continue to adapt to an evolving society, as it always has. The Internet offers opportunities as well as challenges.

TAKE A STAND!Click here to sign a petition urging your U.S. Representative in Congress to support H.R. 1351.

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