Postal workers protest plan to cut Saturday mail delivery

March 24, 2013 8:59:49 PM PDT
About 200 letter carriers rallied to protest Congress' plan to cut Saturday mail delivery.

Postal workers say small business owners, the elderly, veterans and those living in rural areas would be especially hard hit without Saturday mail delivery.

Six-day delivery has been the law for 30 years.

"Everybody is not online. Everybody is not paying their bills online," the president of the National Association of Letter Carriers-Branch 11 Mack Julion said.

From Chicago to Massachusetts down to Atlanta and up to Wisconsin, the message from letter carriers across the country is that the public needs mail delivery on Saturdays too, especially those in the inner cities or rural areas.

"You have a live human being that goes every home and business six days a week at no cost to the tax payer. We check on the elderly. This a service to American public whether you use it or don't use it," letter carrier Michael Caref said.

But the postmaster general says it is a service that costs too much money. Suffering a 15.9 billion loss, the U.S. Postal Serive is expected to save $2 billion a year by cutting Saturday service.

Fighting to keep their jobs, letter carriers fear once Saturday goes, other days will follow and FedEx and UPS will pick up the slack.

"I believe the postmaster general has sold the postal service out," letter carrier Darryl Strauther said.

"Saturdays are pretty busy," letter carrier Deborah Dent said. "I think they make like it's not but it really is."

While the post office is not funded by the taxpayers (it is an independent government agency), several area Democratic lawmakers are standing with the postal workers and so are some of Chicago's well-known community activists.

This is not the time to take jobs away from people. This is the time to give jobs to people," Father Michael Pfleger of St. Sabina Church said.