Postal workers rally to keep jobs and postal service alive

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - "We're not asking for a bailout! We just want to get the mail out!" shouts postal workers from outside the RSA building on Adams Avenue.

It was impossible to drive down Adams Avenue and not see them--a group of passionate postal workers encouraging folks to sign a petition supporting House Resolution 1351.

"Which is the legislation that's in Congress to restore financial stability to the United States Postal Service," says Jerry Smith, President of the National Association for Letter Carriers.

Mail workers say a bill Congress passed five years ago requiring the agency to pre-fund health care benefits for future retirees brought on the current crisis.

The agency's financial woes have some Republicans backing a plan to stop Saturday deliveries, sell advertising space at post offices and phase out most residential to-the-door deliveries.

Some democrats would rather raise postage rates to shore up losses, saying anything else increases unemployment--something Sandra Copeland doesn't want.

"I have children in school, and I have to take care of me.  I'm not old enough to retire."

The rally wasn't just a local effort. Folks say they're taking place across the country.

"We want to stay in the business of mail delivery and provide mail to every household in America," adds Smith.

Some folks have mixed feelings about the best solution.

"I think they spend more money than they take in. You gotta cut the losses. I think instead of raising the rates they need to cut services," says Doug Hallford.

"The postal service is deep in debt and why should we be paying more in debt when they could raise rates?" asks Ray Owens.

It's a decision that could not only affect thousands of jobs, but mail delivery as we know it.

Democrats say their plan also calls for the postal service to enter into new lines of business, including check cashing and leasing excess space.

The postal service announced it will most likely cut more than 100,000 jobs and close 250 processing centers.

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