Postal Workers Rally Against Plans To Close Thousands Of Offices

CHICAGO (WBBM) — A raucous crowd of postal workers braved the chilly drizzle at the Thompson Center on Tuesday protest the proposed closing of 3,700 branches across the country.

Postal employees are asking lawmakers to co-sponsor and support the passage of a bill they said would restore financial stability to the Postal Service.

The postal unions were quick to say they’re not “protesting” at congressional offices. They’re just pushing lawmakers to support legislation that would stave off a Postal Service default by using billions of dollars from an over-funded pension fund to a make a big debt obligation payment officially due Sept. 30.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Lisa Fielding Reports

Postal worker unions organized 492 rallies across the nation on Tuesday afternoon intended to convince lawmakers to save the U.S. Postal Service, without layoffs and cutbacks.

The rallies are the first of a new push-back campaign by postal workers to get lawmakers to find ways to stabilize the Postal Service without laying off some 120,000 employees.

Under the current system, the Postal Service faces an $8.3 billion budget deficit. Postmaster General Patrick Donahue blames the debt on a decline in traditional mail — snail mail, if you will — as a result of increased electronic and mobile communication.

But postal employees attribute a 2006 mandate that requires the Postal Service to set aside money for future retirees. Under that law, the Postal Service must acquire funds for 75 years worth of retirees’ benefits over a 10-year span.

The union wants Congress to allow the Postal Service to recalculate the amount it should pay for pensions and reallocate the excess funds paid in years past towards the future health benefits.

Any plans to save the Postal Service must be passed by Congress, which is why the rallies are taking place.

More from Lisa Fielding
  • lazypostalworkers

    The same postal workers who do nothing at their job. I heard from a source that most of these people who work in the downtown office punch in, and go home or just leave. When the day is almost over they return to punch back in. This is done because no one is watching or supervising. I also heard that they barbecue indoors for lunch. That’s crazy as hell. It could be a lie but what if it’s not.

    • babyface

      lazypostalworkers: try being a rual carrier and have to walk year round in wind,rain and snow. To get the mail thru,not all are dead beats has you are saying. But the postal office that do not need to stay open just to place a stamp on a letter. Why should it stay open? They also can cut mail on Saturdays. This would save a million or two.

  • Leroy Goldberg

    If those are our Postal Workers in that photo…………I don’t want them!

    • LOTD

      Where be the white faces in that photo???

  • Joe Piette

    Wow. So many anti-worker bigots! The number of postal workers has decreased by over 30% in the last 10 years. Automation plus increasing the workload of workers has made the job of postal workers much more difficult. The carriers who deliver your mail have all had their routes made longer, no matter what the weather is like. The post office is the most trusted part of the government. Instead of all your bigoted statements, write to congress to prevent the intended takeover by corporations that will cut postal services and raise rates.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Daily Weather Reports Delivered To You!SIGN UP NOW: Get daily weather reports every morning from meteorologist Steve Baskerville!
CBS Sports Radio RoundupGet your latest sports talk from across the country.

Listen Live