Postal workers and supporters were demonstrating outside offices around the nation last night, including several in Wisconsin. The rallies were aimed at raising awareness of the financial problems facing the U.S. Postal Service.
Wisconsin Association of Letter Carriers President Scott Van Derven says they hope to challenge the belief that the Postal Service is broke. When just looking at the cost of moving the mail, Van Derven says the agency actually should be making more than enough to keep running.
The problem, Van Derven says, is a requirement for the Postal Service to pre-fund retirement health benefits for future employees. He says the mandate basically results in the billions of dollars being diverted to a fund intended for employees who have not even been hired yet.
Workers are calling on Congress to lift the pre-funding requirement, and address the fact that postal workers have also overpaid into pension funds. Van Derven says a resolution awaiting action in Congress could actually allow those overpayments to be used to meet the pension funding obligation.
Demonstrators were outside over a dozen Wisconsin post offices Tuesday night, with a presence in each of the state’s Congressional districts.