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.

Comments (10)
  1. NO NO NO says:

    Yea this is what they need Unlimited access to retirment money.
    How much money do these over paid over benefited people need to do their job just once?

    1. Abs says:

      The reason they need to have access to retirement money is because in 2006 the house passed a law that the post office would have to fund there heath and pension plans for the next 75 years, but they would have to do that in 10 years.So they wanted them to fund a pension plan for people that didn’t work for the post office but for people that where not even born yet. It cost the post office 5.5 billion dollars a year to do this. So yeah lets just break the union and lay off a 120 thousand workers.I think people should get all the facts before they start making comments.

  2. RIGHT says:

    Just look at the sponsors They love to play with our tax money

  3. PAUL E. MICELLI says:

    Start the LAYOFFS!!! THIS PLAN IS “INSANE”. . Spend. . .Spend. . Spending money for future commitments is like using a credit card and spend the “FUTURE” of those peoples monies. Join the other millions in the unemployment lines and ask your president where are all the jobs for ALL AMERICANS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Free Enterprise says:

    If the USPS cannot survive, let it fail. That is free enterprise at work. UPS and FedEx will easily fill the gap, and do so with far better, more efficient management.

    1. Jim Bowman says:

      First off they are nat asking for TAX revenue, but funds that came from postage, Congress is the one spending our money.

      Next I do think that 5 day delivery is necesary, as a USPS employee to keep the company solvent which is not in agreement with my union officials but many union members.

      Don’t let your hatred of Obama cause you to act irrationally and it sounds like you people to have their lives ruined just to get at him???

      The USPS still does 60 billion in annual buisness and is a huge part of America’s infrastructure too.

  5. Bernard Mc Kernan says:

    Be careful what you wish for, you may just get it. Me, I like mail delivery every day & for .47, it’s a bargain to send something from Balto to California & in three days. They should close a lot of the P.O. but re-open them in supermarkets like the banks have done & offer full service using their own employees & just pay rent to the stores. Many jobs would be saved & billions of $$ also.

    1. Jim Bowman says:

      Well said, although reallity might dictate 5 day delivery imho.

  6. Marshall Hiepler says:

    Two thoughts:

    First: The proposed bill to access retirement funds is strikingly similar to the serious mistakes made with the Social Security funds. Even the best of intentions are not going to replace the money that is withdrawn. It is similar to a “gambler” that chances rent money in the hopes of gaining something. The chances are a million to one that anything “good” will result from the decision.

    Secondly: One has to consider the reasons that the USPS is failing. The use of email, internet transactions and purchases, electronic storage of data, and online access to banking information have all decreased the need for “physical mail delivery”. Add to this, the dramatic speed of delivery offered by competitors, such as Fed Ex, UPS, DHL, ect., and it is clear that a large portion of the remaining “market” for package delivery has been taken over. These competitors accel, due to “speed”; a comodity not offered by the USPS. As aresult, the USPS competes only upon the merits of “low costs”, which is a self-defeating prospect in todays world where business is willing to invest in faster service.

    If anything, (and I hardly hold confidence in their ability to do so) the USPS should use available funds to revamp their system, which would decrease delivery times and perhaps allow them to compete “long term” in today’s market. As with any private business, this would also include down-sizing to cut expenses and trim waste from the bottom line.

    In the end, however, (and I am no gambler) my bet is that the retirement funds will be “scavanged” to pay wages for postal workers for the present, and that the USPS will fade into the distance in a few years. Very sad, of course. But then, we didn’t elect accountants to run for Senate, now did we?

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