Nov 14, 2014 7:59 PM
MANCHESTER - Dozens of postal service workers and supporters lined up in front of Manchester City Hall on Friday evening to protest scheduled cuts to services; closures and consolidation of distribution centers and the potential for stopping Saturday delivery.
"We think that it can lead to the ultimate death of the postal service as a public institution," said Janice Kelple of the NH Postal Workers Union.
USPS workers say services everywhere would be impacted.
As of Jan. 5, the USPS is set to lower "service standards" - which, according to protesters, would virtually eliminate overnight delivery.
In addition, 82 mail processing & distribution centers in 37 states are scheduled to close/consolidate at the beginning of next year.
The cuts are in addition to the USPS's current challenge of paying for future retiree health benefits 75 years in advance - a Congressional mandate that costs the postal service about $5.3 billion dollars a year.
"In a down economy - it doesn't make sense to do that. Nobody else does that," said Wayne Alterisio, New Hampshire's Letter Carrier State President.
But even despite the proposed cuts, those protesting are confident in the future of the USPS.
"Email I know from my own experience is not going to replace postal mail," said NH AFL-CIO president Mark McKenzie. "I think you're going to see more and more people go back to mail."
Contact Multimedia Journalist Tyler Dumont via email at tdumont@NH1.com.
Follow him on Twitter @NH1_Tyler.
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