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Letter carriers protest postal service reform bill

U.S. Postal Service letter carrier Juan Padilla puts letters into a mailbox as he walks his delivery route on Dec. 5, 2011 in San Francisco, Calif. The National Association of Letter Carriers is planning nationwide demonstrations Thursday outside U.S. Senate offices. They are protesting "flawed" legislation they say would hurt the postal service even more than it's already been damaged by cost-cutting.

Jeremy Hobson: Postal workers are demonstrating this week against a Senate bill that they say would destroy the Postal Service.

Marketplace's Nancy Marshall-Genzer reports.


Nancy Marshall-Genzer: The Senate bill would allow Postal Service executives to phase out Saturday service in two years, and would let them eliminate doorstep delivery.

Jim Sauber: We are very concerned that the Postal Service is dismantling itself.

Jim Sauber is chief of staff of the National Association of Letter Carriers. The union’s biggest beef with the Senate bill? It continues to require the Postal Service to set aside money now for future retiree’s health care expenses. Sauber says that should stop and Saturday deliveries should continue because they’re profitable.

Rick Geddes is an economist at Cornell who studies the Postal Service. He says postal workers will have to accept major reforms, like cutting mail delivery down to five days a week or reducing the workforce through attrition.

Rick Geddes: In order to preserve the Postal Service, it has to change.

Geddes says, without major change, the Postal Service will struggle to survive. He says mail volume is down more than 21 percent just since 2006.

In Washington, I’m Nancy Marshall-Genzer for Marketplace.

About the author

Nancy Marshall-Genzer is a senior reporter for Marketplace based in Washington, D.C. covering daily news.

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