In the wake of the proposed cuts to the U.S. Postal Service, a group of protesters has announced plans to go on a hunger strike.
At the end of the month, a group of five people calling itself Communities and Postal Workers United announced plans to begin a hunger strike to call attention to what it says is the reason for the service's financial failings, according to Bloomberg.com.
The protesters blame a 2006 congressional mandate requiring the postal service to pay in advance for retiree health benefit costs, saying without that mandate the service would be profitable.
The postal service, which is closing processing plants and offering worker buyouts to cut costs, said it lost $3.2 billion in the quarter ended March 31 and will temporarily run out of cash in October. Most, though not all, of the quarterly loss came from the pre-funding mandate, said the service, which blames declining demand for the mail for its woes, according to Bloomberg.com.
A retired letter carrier interviewed said that it's, "not the internet, not private competition, not the recession; Congress is responsible for the postal mess.nCorporate interests, working through their friends in Congress, want to undermine the USPS, bust the unions then privatize it.”
The Senate has passed a bill to overhaul the Postal Service that would include reducing the retiree health pre-funding requirement. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said last month the House will consider its version of postal reform in July or August.