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Postal workers deliver message: Don’t stop 6-day service



Published: Mon, March 25, 2013 @ 12:05 a.m.

photo

Local United States Postal Service employees demonstrate at the main post office in downtown Youngstown to have Congress overrule a U.S. Postal Service decision to end Saturday mail delivery.

By Bob Jackson

news@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

Chanting slogans such as “USA for six-day,” and “Don’t let Donahoe disobey, deliver mail on Saturday,” area postal workers tried Sunday afternoon to rally support for a congressional mandate to continue mail delivery six days a week.

They are part of a group called Delivering for America.

At issue is a decision by U.S. Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe to cut Saturday delivery of most mail beginning in early August. If Donahoe’s plan goes into place, only parcels would be delivered Saturdays. It’s part of a cost-cutting plan that Donahoe says is needed to keep the postal service operational.

“We want to create awareness and get the public more involved in this,” said Henry Gomez, president of the National Association of Letter Carriers Local 385. He said about 100 such rallies took place at postal locations across the country Sunday.

The postal employees have urged Congress to intercede and block the Saturday mail-delivery cuts. Some members of Congress have said that Donahoe doesn’t have authority to cut Saturday delivery without congressional approval, and Gomez said Congress recently issued a mandate that the six-day delivery system be maintained.

“Now he says he’s not going to deliver mail on Saturday, but he’ll deliver parcels,” Gomez said, referring to Donahoe. “He thinks that’s a loophole that will let him go ahead and stop Saturday letter delivery. We don’t think that’s fair to the American people.”

Since September, all mail dropped into mailboxes in the Youngstown area has been taken to Cleveland to be canceled and then driven back to Youngstown for delivery, which postal employee Brian Gilchrist said has caused delays in delivery. He said curbing Saturday letter deliveries will cause backlogs for carriers that will create a greater lag in delivery times.

“They blame technology for the decrease in people using the mail,” Gilchrist said of postal service officials. “But with all these delays, they’re forcing people to use technology like paying bills online or sending emails. There is no leadership and no accountability at the top. We need a new business model.”

Gilchrist said Congress should dump its 2006 mandate that the USPS pre-fund health care benefits for future retirees. He said that burden is largely responsible for the postal service’s financial woes.

“Congress created this mess; they can step in and fix it,” he said.

Dominic Corso, president of the American Postal Workers Union Local 443, said the post office is still a viable entity and “still an important part of the American way of life,” but that it’s slowly being taken apart by its leadership.

“They will continue to dismantle, they will continue to cut services, until Congress tells them to stop,” he said.

David Simon, owner of Smart Environmental Engineering Consulting and Construction of Youngstown, was among those who spoke during Sunday’s rally, saying the loss of Saturday mail delivery will negatively impact his business because it will cause delays in getting advertisements, invoices and billings to his customers.


Comments

1formerdemliberal(182 comments)posted 1 year, 6 months ago

Sorry union buddies. But no mail delivery on Saturday only means one less day of junk mail for me to throw out. Business customers and consumers will adjust just fine.

Just keep raising the costs of those stamps to further take the post office out of the competitive delivery and bill-paying market. Unfortunately, until your political cronies get around to trying to tax every online transaction (which I'm sure that many have already thought about), I think the Internet is here to stay for a while. The gravy train has left the building and ain't comin' back anytime soon.

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2dmacker(274 comments)posted 1 year, 6 months ago

"David Simon, owner of Smart Environmental Engineering Consulting and Construction of Youngstown, was among those who spoke during Sunday’s rally, saying the loss of Saturday mail delivery will negatively impact his business because it will cause delays in getting advertisements, invoices and billings to his customers". How about if he just mails on Friday.
Mr. Simon is quick to point out what will have a negative affect on his business but protests against the Post Office's attempts to save it's business by streamlining operations by closing small unprofitable offices and cutting back on one day of weekend mail delivery.
Simon would feel very differently if he were forced to carry more workers than required and utilize non profitable business practices in his operation.
Why does he feel it ok to protest the Post Office, a non-government supported business, attempting to do what's necessary to make a profit and best support it's employees and their families.
The Post Office is not a Government run operation it operates on the money it makes. Fox News' resent story about the Post Office spending your tax dollars was in error and they have been called to task on that gross mistake in reporting.
Additionally, Congress should dump its 2006 mandate that the USPS pre-fund health care benefits for future retirees. That burden is largely responsible for the postal service’s financial woes.
No other business is forced to pre-fund it's health care for future retirees.
Congress is the problem not the solution in this and many other issues.
Perhaps we should dump Congress or at least require them to work on Saturday.

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3busyman(239 comments)posted 1 year, 6 months ago

It is time to move on. I bet that 90% percent of your membership sends e-mail, text or pay their bills on line. The young workers do not care about the post office. If they can't tweet it, text it, or google it your are out of date. Let the old timers take their pensions and have the younger workers boycott all the new medias that they are addicted to and maybe it will comeback. I doubt it. There is no dedication for the old and personal ways of communications. Magazines, newpapers and other published documents are going by the wayside. Please quit trying to beat a dead horse. I really do not think this generation cares.

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4Robert_Neville(123 comments)posted 1 year, 6 months ago

I will have support the business man on this on. He is right about the delay in payments and paying his bills. The postmaster needs to take a pay cut and all government worker.

I just talked to my son who is deployed and the government cut his class and funding for school. The government stuck him with a 1400 dollar bill and President Obama says education is important. Which it is but here are Soldiers fighting for our freedom and he says pull there moneys. So that some illegal can go to school. They are illegals. It country wants everyone to have rights but. Take it from the people that are fighting for it. Rep Ryan this doesn't make any scenes to me. What is the President really thinking about.

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5borylie(790 comments)posted 1 year, 6 months ago

dmacker,
If I'm not mistaken,FOX NEWS reported that The US Government was loaning USPS money,which is tax-payer money. If the USPS would go under the government,that is the tax-payer would not be paid back the loaned money,thus in a sense the USPS is spending government money. No one but the liberal sites you must watch are taking FOX NEWS to task. No gross reporting by FOX.

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6HappyBob(285 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

Dmacker (above) is right on.
The 2006 congressional mandate that USPS fund it's health program at a level that is unheard of is a MAJOR financial burden. No other business is required to prefund at these levels. They need to end that requirement so that USPS has at least a level playing field.

To my thinking a very basic problem is that the USPS is not being run as a business, it is being micro-managed by Congress. Congress is driving the USPS into the ground. Can you guess what the motivation is?

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