This piece originally appeared on MinnPost.com With millions of working families struggling just...
Recently, Working America partnered with the National Association of Letter Carriers in Portland to gather more than 2,000 signatures to send a message to Congress and the postmaster general to stop the attacks on the U.S. Postal Service and raise awareness about the real issues affecting USPS.
Recent headlines paint a bleak picture for the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), noting the institution is bleeding money and posting record losses. That’s not the full story behind the Postal Service. A look at the bigger picture leads to better understanding of the situation. The Postal Service is an independent agency of the U.S. government, meaning it is funded primarily through revenues (stamps, priority shipping, etc.). The dollars received from the U.S. government are few and cover absentee ballot delivery for our troops overseas and delivery for the blind.
Just like any business, USPS was greatly affected by the recession. When businesses started hurting and began cutting costs, items such as shipping and mail advertising budgets were cut, which in turn hurt USPS revenues. That being said, USPS would have posted a net $611 million surplus over the last four years if it weren’t for Congress. In 2006, Congress passed and President Bush signed into law a postal reform bill that requires the Postal Service to prefund future retiree benefits at more than $5 billion a year for 10 years. This burdensome mandate is something no other government agency is required to do.
Due to this requirement, the postmaster general and Congress have developed proposals that threaten the future of the Postal Service, such as cutting days of delivery and closing several post offices and postal facilities—both of which would cut more than 100,000 good jobs.
How Working America Fought Back:
Fortunately, there is proposed legislation that would help preserve the Postal Service and the services and good jobs they bring to communities all across Oregon. Working America set out in communities to educate Oregonians on the need for a strong USPS and what they can do to help.
By collecting more than 600 signatures, Working America sent a strong message to Congress to support the Postal Service and its workers.
What You Can Do:
It’s not too late to sign the petition to lend much-needed support to our fellow postal workers. Click here to get involved in the campaign: www.saveamericaspostalservice.org/