Postal Unions Rally For House Bill 1351 To Prevent Cuts

CATONSVILLE, Md. (WJZ)—Postal worker unions take a stand against proposed cutbacks. The unions are rallying in support of a bill that gives the U.S. Postal Service access to billions of dollars in pre-paid pension accounts.

Pat Warren reports Democrats in Maryland’s congressional delegation are co-sponsoring the bill.

“We don’t want a bail out,” protesters chanted. ” We just want to get the mail out.”

Marylanders may not know about House Bill 1351, but this they know: they don’t want their local post office to close.

“I think it’s horrible ’cause I depend on this every day,” said Rose Goins.

While the U.S. postmaster general is proposing cutbacks in processing, service and delivery to offset a multi-billion dollar deficit, Congress is considering an alternative.

Resolution 1351 will give the USPS access to billions of dollars Congress has forced it to lay aside to pay future pension benefits.

“Which will allow the post office to transfer money that it has–they won’t have to borrow anything–from one place to another so the postal service can remain solvent,” said Mike Smith, National Association of Letter Carriers.

“The United States Postal Service is putting money away for retiree health benefits for future employees who haven’t been born yet,” said Rich Shelley, American Postal Workers Union.

The impact of cuts will be felt on neighborhoods.

“Don’t close it. Please, don’t close it,” said a Market Center Post Office customer.

The Catonsville rally is part of a national Save America’s Postal Service campaign held to prevent the United States Postal Service from closing more than 3,000 local offices and facilities and from cutting delivery back to five, or fewer than five, days a week.

“The neighborhood post office must be saved,” said one protester.

Supporters nationwide are visiting the home offices of each member of the U.S. House of Representatives, including the bill’s co-sponsors.

Seven Baltimore post offices are on the proposed list of closures.

Maryland Democrats Elijah Cummings, John Sarbanes and Dutch Ruppersberger are among the co-sponsors of the bill.

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