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No Postal Service Could Leave Rural Communities High and Dry

Experts say the U.S. Postal Service could run out of money by summer without federal assistance. (Adobe Stock)
Experts say the U.S. Postal Service could run out of money by summer without federal assistance. (Adobe Stock)
May 8, 2020

FRANKFORT, Ky. - Postal workers in Kentucky are among those calling for swift action by Congress to save the U.S. Postal Service.

President of Louisville Local 4 of the American Postal Workers Union Art Campos says postal workers have been crucial in serving the public during the COVID-19 crisis - delivering absentee ballots, medical supplies and other necessities to people sheltering in place.

However, he says mail volume is down 50%, which could have a major impact on revenues.

"The Postal Service, especially the American Postal Workers Union, we are workers that are behind the scenes," says Campos. "Everybody sees the mail carriers but we process all the mail coming in from all over the country and all over the world. "

The APWU is calling on Congress to provide one-time funding of at least $25 billion dollars to cover immediate revenue loss, as well as ongoing support for the duration of the crisis.

The Postal Service has been left out of federal COVID-19 financial relief, while private corporate and other business interests have received almost one trillion dollars in assistance.

By some estimates, the Postal Service could run out of money by the end of summer. Campos says should it collapse, rural customers would have to rely on private shipping companies that don't have as much infrastructure in smaller communities.

"Prescription drugs, stimulus checks have gone out, we're taking care of that," says Campos. "And if we didn't deliver door to door, some of these people would not be able to get out to get their mail. Because some are older and rely on the mail to deliver to their home."

President Donald Trump and some Republicans have questioned the sustainability of the Postal Service, and have at times called for it to be privatized.

The most recent census data estimated there are more than seven thousand U.S. Postal Service employees in Kentucky.

Disclosure: American Postal Workers Union contributes to our fund for reporting on Consumer Issues, Livable Wages/Working Families. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.
Nadia Ramlagan, Public News Service - KY