In a letter sent to senators last month, NALC President Fredric Rolando said that SB 1789, while well-intended, is fundamentally flawed.
Rolando blamed the agency's red ink on 2006 legislation that mandated setting aside 75 years worth of future retiree health benefits over a 10-year period. "No other agency or private company faces such a burden, which has cost the USPS $21 billion over the past five years," Rolando said.
Private-sector audits concluded that a $50 billion to $75 billion surplus exists in the Civil Service Retirement System, Rolando said, which would be enough to cover the USPS mandate.
Chad Mortensen, a Salt Lake City letter carrier who serves as the union's legislative liaison in Utah, described the pre-funding obligation as too aggressive for the recovering economy.
"It is driving us into bankruptcy," Mortensen said.
Mortensen also warned that losing Saturday delivery could end the post office's ability to deliver medications.
"If we lose that day, we'll lose FDA approval to put medications through the mail because they'll be sitting in warehouses that are not climate controlled," he said.
The 21st Century Postal Service Act of 2012, sponsored by Sen. Joseph Liebermann, I-Conn., could come up for discussion after senators return from their Easter recess that ends Sunday.
For more about Thursday's protests, go to www.nalc.org or www.saveamericaspostalservice.org.
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Letter carriers rally
What • Save America's Postal Service
When • 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Thursday
Where • 125 S. State St., Salt Lake City