CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Postal Service carriers deal with bad weather all the time on their routes, and Sunday, dozens stood in the pouring rain to protest the move from six-day mail delivery to five days starting in August.
Outside the Kanawha City Post Office, members of the National Association of Letter Carriers of Charleston held signs reading, “West Virginians for 6 day, Don’t dismantle our postal service.”
NALC local president Tim McKay said the goal is to get out the message that carriers don’t want to see service cut back.
“We want to be able to deliver mail to West Virginians six days a week,” McKay said. We’re afraid if we eliminate one day of mail delivery, what’s going to come next? Maybe they’ll cut out Monday. Maybe they’ll cut out Wednesday or Thursday.
“We think it’s just the beginning of the dismantling of the Postal Service.”
The Charleston carrier said he hears from customers every day telling him they want to see Saturday delivery continue.
The dilemma for the Postal Service is massive debt. The agency lost $15.9 billion in 2012. and predicts that will increase to $45 billion by 2017. In order to stem the losses, Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe announced earlier this year delivery would be cut back to Monday through Friday.
“To preserve our mission to provide secure, reliable and affordable universal delivery service, and to do so without burdening the American taxpayer, the Post Service needs urgent reform to its business model,” said Donahue.
But members of the NALC said the Postal Service can make budget without cutting Saturday delivery.
“Has (business) diminished over the years? Of course it has. We’d be foolish to sit here and act like it hasn’t,” McKay said. “But we think what the Postal Service should do is try to explore other options to try and increase revenue.”
The debate is expected to continue through the summer months.