The United States Postal Service is working on a broken model that can’t possibly be sustained using current business practices and now a handful of workers alongside Dennis Kucinich have taken to Washington in protest of Congress’ failed attempts to save the business at it currently operates along with thousands of workers jobs. To protest Congress’ inability to solve USPS’ problems the workers are going on a four-day hunger strike.
The hunger strike begins just days before the US Postal Service is set to make changes that will end overnight delivery for 20 percent of the country while shutting down and consolidating many of its more rural and underutilized mail hubs.
The workers group known as Communities and Postal Workers United was formed this spring and workers have been gathering in cities around the country to protest the postal services cuts.
To date the only member of Congress to support the group is Dennis Kucinich.
On Tuesday the organizations members will march to the Capital and on Wednesday they will protest in front of the Washington Post Office on 15th street. The hunger strike will end on Thursday in front of postal service headquarters.
Activists in the meantime blame newspapers and other media outlets for editorializing cost-cutting measures which they say should force labor unions to cut employee benefits as a means to save the USPS.
The groups strike is meant to symbolize that Congress’ plans which will lead to slow mail, reduced window hours at 13,000 rural post offices and the closing of processing plants will only hurt business further by destroying much of the postal services revenue.
Despite the fact that their is most certainly a decline in mail volume the protesters say the postal service can gain a positive footing once again if Congress allows it to take billions of dollars out of health benefit and pension funds, money that was unnecessarily placed years in advance. The USPS is facing a $14 billion deficit in 2012.
After learning of the protests earlier this week the USPS said of the hunger strike:
“We respect the right of our employees and retirees to engage in lawful public dialogue regarding postal issues. We have worked hard over this past year to bring to the attention of Congress, the [Obama] administration, the news media and the American public the urgent need for postal reform legislation.”