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Protesters Speak Out Against 5-Day Mail Service

RENO, Nev. It's safe for now. Congress passed a continuing resolution last week, and part of that resolution requires the six day mail delivery to continue.

Some experts estimate the Postal Service, which lost $16 billion dollars last year, could run out of money by October. The Postmaster General still supports cutting a day of service, which is why protesters gathered Sunday to make their voices heard.

Protesters got a lot of honks of as they stood outside the Reno Main Post Office on Vassar Street. Holding signs saying 'Save America's Postal Service', the protesters say cutting Saturday mail service will do more harm than good.

"Sometimes it's critical to have stuff on a daily basis," Ray Warner, owner of Quality Painting & Maintenance said. "If I miss a day I could miss a project or miss a job. Most of mine is public works or state or federal jobs, and it only gives me so much time to bid the work."

Last year, United States Postal Service Postmaster Patrick Donahoe proposed the 5 day mail service to prevent the USPS from defaulting.

Donahoe says cutting a day would save about $2 billion annually. But protesters say this isn't the right course of action.

"The Post Office is only behind and only having trouble because in 2006, Congress passed a law which required the postal service to pre-fund health benefits for retirees," Mickey Grizzle, Nevada president of the Association of Letter Carriers said.

He says 85% of the $16 billion loss in 2012 is due to that law.

"If it wasn't for that funding, we'd be $100 million in the black right now,"

The Postal Service is an independent agency, and not funded with taxpayer money. They cover costs through selling stamps and other products and services.

Grizzle says the way to save the Postal Service is through supporting current proposed legislation like Senate Bill 316.

S.316, introduced by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), would eliminate the requirement to pre-fund the health benefits for future retirees, permanently prohibit eliminating Saturday delivery, and allow the Postal Service to ship alcohol as a way to gain more revenue.

The House of Representatives has a similar bill, HR 630, introduced by Rep. Peter DeFazio [D-OR4].

The protest was just one of many taking place across the country Sunday.


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