WASHINGTON - Planned cuts to the U.S. Postal Service that would cost more than 100,000 active workers their jobs, cut another 100,000 by attrition, close post offices and cut service nationwide prompted eight retired union Letter Carriers to begin a hunger strike in D.C. on June 25.
Their protest, to end with a demonstration at Postal Service headquarters on June 28, demands deletion of the cuts, and congressional action on legislation that unions back to reverse USPS' financial slide. Bills in Congress to "save" the Postal Service are inadequate (Senate) and unacceptably anti-worker (House), the unions add.
Portland, Ore., activist Jamie Partridge told the Northwest Labor Press that the hunger strikers, including himself, want USPS to halt its planned July 1 cuts, which would start the downward spiral of reduced service and declining usage of the USPS, leading to more jobs being cut and more workers being fired.
The activists, along with NALC and other postal unions, argue Congress could "stop starving the Postal Service," by freeing it to enter other business lines, eliminating its required annual $5.5 billion prepayment of future retirees' medical costs, and by returning billions of dollars it overpaid into the federal workers pension system.
Photo: Letter carrier Felipe Raymundo moves a tray of mail to his truck to begin delivery at a post office in Seattle. Elaine Thompson/AP