Portland area letter carriers gathered before work outside the Piedmont-Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Post Office in northeast Portland on Tuesday to discuss Congressional bill, that if passed, will dismantle postal services.
“Many have heard about the USPS’s financial crisis, but few know there are solutions that don’t cost the taxpayer a dime. We want fellow citizens to understand what’s at stake,” said Jim Cook, president of the local branch of the National Association of Letter Carriers.
Cook said House Bill 2309 would eliminate Saturday mail service, mandates closing thousands of community post offices, and will end door delivery of mail for 90 percent of American households and businesses.
“Cutting service and access is the wrong way to save an essential service-oriented government corporation,” he said.
Cook said the Postal Service has remained profitable despite competition from the Internet and the severe recession. He blames its financial troubles on a 2006 Congressional mandate that requires it to pay about 10 percent of its budget, $5.5 billion per year to pre-fund retiree health benefits 75-years in advance within 10 years.
House Resolution 1351, which has a bi-partisan majority of co-sponsors, would address the pre-funding issue. The bill is bottled up in committee as a Nov. 18 financial default deadline looms.