|Local postal carrier concerned about axing Saturday delivery|
|Friday, February 22, 2013 2:30 PM|
“I know people complain that all we bring is bills and junk mail but my job entails a lot more,” Chuck Shumaker said. “I also deliver newspapers, magazines, prescriptions, movies, Internet purchases, birthday cards, sports and entertainment tickets, car titles, letters to and from servicemen and the list goes on and on.”
Shumaker said he is also the “eyes and ears” of the neighborhoods he delivers in.
“For some, I am the only person they may see all week,” Shumaker said. “Some elderly only have family who can visit on the weekends and some don’t have family at all. I fill that gap for a lot of them. We chat for a minute and I make sure they are OK. Their families appreciate it, too.”
The same is true for some rural customers as well.
“A mail delivery person might be the only contact with the outside world for some,” Shumaker added. “Several of my customers have told me they hope we don’t get rid of Saturday delivery for that reason. They enjoy the few minutes we spend talking.”
National Association of Letter Carriers Local 192 of Dayton President John Oross says cutting services is not the way to go.
“I think cutting the Saturday delivery will send us into a death spiral,” Oross said.”The way to grow is to provide added services, not cut them.”
Oross points to the federal mandate that the postal service prepay into a retirement fund as part of the problem.
“Congress needs to reverse that mandate that has us paying retirement for employees who aren’t even born yet,” he said. “We are the only government entity that is not funded by the government. In 2006, before the mandate, the postal service was profitable.”
Oross points to diversification as the way to bring the postal service back into the black.
“We need to be looking at ways to grow, like modifying our fleets to monitor air quality,” he said. “We could bring ourselves out of this if the government would let us.”