Postal workers and their supporters plan to rally in congressional districts across the country Tuesday afternoon, hoping to convince their representatives that cuts being considered to the U.S. Postal Service's system and workforce are unnecessary and counterproductive.
So far, their argument has been drowned out amidst grave declarations of a financial crisis at the agency. Earlier this month, the postmaster general warned Congress of a looming default and eventual bankruptcy; a government accountability official declared the postal service's business model "broken"; and even President Obama, in his recent $3 trillion deficit-reduction plan, said the postal service should be allowed to eliminate Saturday delivery in order to save itself. The agency is projected to post a $10 billion loss this year.
But Fredric Rolando, president of the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC), one of a handful of unions spearheading the rallies Tuesday, said his group has been trying to combat what he describes as misinformation surrounding the postal service's real financial status. He said that large-scale cuts to the system -- including the possible closings of lower-volume post offices -- are not imperative, and could actually end up hurting the service in the long run.
"It's a choice, not a necessity," Rolando said. "Someone is choosing to take our communications system apart. ... That's what you're seeing discussed -- the reduction of delivery days, the reduction in service standards, the consolidation of processing plants. It's just a dismantling of the service as we know it."