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Postal workers rally against cutbacks

Posted at: 03/24/2013 1:22 PM
Updated at: 03/24/2013 11:26 PM
By: Joangel Concepcion

Dozens of postal workers rallied on Jefferson Road Sunday, demanding  the U.S. Postal Service continue its mail delivery service on Saturdays.

The protest comes almost two months after the Postal Service announced plans to eliminate Saturday delivery by August of this year.

The USPS says it suffered a $15.9-billion dollar loss in 2012 and now it's taking steps to bounce back by cutting back.

The news is not sitting well with postal workers in our area and they made it known on Sunday. They say this isn't only about their jobs, it's also about preserving the 230 year-old service.

A spokesperson for the U.S. Postal Service told News10NBC on Sunday the reality is the Internet has taken over the way Americans communicate and pay their bills. They consider these cutbacks a reasonable approach to the change in how Americans are using the Postal Service. 

Dozens of postal workers and their families say the cutbacks are unreasonable. They say the cuts will hit our communities, small businesses and senior citizens the hardest.

They made their voices heard in front of the General Mail Facility on Jefferson Road. What was their message? To support six day delivery all the way.

They came with a very clear message, representing postal workers all over the nation.

“We need to show the American public that we can make this the success that it's been for over 200 years,” said Kenneth Montgomery from the National Association of Letter Carriers.

Dozens are demanding Congress create a better plan for growth, instead of trying to eliminate Saturday delivery services and possibly jeopardizing pensions for postal workers.

It's a fight driven by passion.

“I'm very dedicated. I wanted to make sure that the people get their mail on time, in a timely manner and that they have their bills and they have their cards,” said letter carrier Cindy Lou Lee.

It's also a fight driven by fear.

“If they eliminate six day delivery then they are talking five days, three days and then there won't be a Postal Service left here,” said Lee.

The U.S. Postal Service says its losing $25-million a day under its current schedule. Officials say the cutback would save around $2-billion annually.

It's a cut they say was inevitable.

“It's impossible to say what they future is going to hold. The reason why we're even considering five days is because the volume of mail is declining that rapidly. We've been responsible. We will continue to be responsible with our employees and as changes occur we will do our best to put people where they are needed. If we don't have an organization that's responding to the way America needs it, then really the whole organization is in jeopardy,” said Karen Mazurkiewicz, USPS Spokesperson for Western New York.

These postal workers say they understand times are tough, but they say the officials need to look at the big picture when it comes to the community.

“It's got nothing to do with the bail out. It's got nothing to do with tax payer dollars, we don't take a penny from the tax payer. It should do with-we should provide this service. The American people deserve this service,” said letter carrier Michael Masters.

Here are some of the details that may affect you come August if things don't change.

The U.S. Postal Service would eliminate mail, such as letters and magazines, going to street addresses. Delivery would be only Monday through Friday.

Mail addressed to P.O. boxes will still would be delivered on Saturday along with package deliveries.

Also, post offices that are now open on Saturday would still remain open.

The spokesperson for the USPS says they are working very closely with small businesses, making sure they are aware of the changes.

Also, they tell say they have conducted several polls and it shows most Americans are on board with the elimination of Saturday service.

If you aren't one of those Americans and you would like to join the fight against these cuts you can go here.