Congress created Postal Service mess; it can fix it

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To the editor:

Recent stories have raised alarms about the future of the U.S. Postal Service.

The United States Postal Service is absolutely taking the wrong track by suggesting that cutting current service will be the best way to remain solvent.

The Postal Service’s current financial crisis was brought on by Congress in a lame-duck session in 2006. Congress mandated that the Postal Service do what no other entity in the world is required to do – the Postal Service must pre-fund future retiree benefits for the next 75 years, all within a 10-year window at a cost of $5.5 billion per year.


 

If it had not been for this mandate, the Postal Service would have made a small profit over the last four years, even in these tough economic times. This is so absurd that it means the Postal Service is funding for employees not even born yet.

The plan to reduce service to our businesses, veterans and senior citizens must be reconsidered.

Our part of South Jersey is the financial lifeline of the entire state. The casino and tourism industries depend on immediate mail delivery. Even a day’s delay would be devastating. Eroding the ability of a major industry to attract patrons would have a dramatic effect on area and state coffers.

There has been a reduction in the postal workforce of more than 100,000 employees in the last four years, through attrition. This reduction has come with a price: service.

Urban carriers, rural carriers, and window clerks are functioning the best they can with this reduced workforce. Most post offices are now operating with too few employees, which causes late deliveries and long lines.

This can be fixed. We need you, the citizens, you the local mayors and committee persons and you the local businesses of all sizes to contact your representatives in Congress and let them know about the negative impact reducing service would have on you.

The Postal Service needs relief from this crushing mandate. It also needs the removal of regulations that prevent it from offering new services. Congress can correct this mess that it made; urge them to do so.

Nelson Gaskill, President

National Association of

Letter Carriers, Branch 903

Mays Landing


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