COLUMBUS, Ohio - Postal workers will be flooding phone lines today to urge Senate leaders to act quickly to provide emergency funding for the U.S. Postal Service.
The pandemic has only exacerbated the financial woes of the USPS, which now is projecting a $13 billion loss for 2020. President of American Postal Workers Union Cleveland Area Local 72 Daleo Freeman contends the Postal Service is the very fabric of the country.
"The Postal Service, in terms of the American people, is one of the top agencies that is trusted," says Freeman. "People depend on us for so many services, whether it be medicine, whether it be Social Security checks and the like."
During their Senate Day of Action, the American Postal Workers Union is calling on congressional leaders to pass legislation that would provide $25 billion in relief aid for the service.
The postal service is the second biggest civilian employer in the U.S, with more than 630,000 employees. Freeman notes that during the pandemic, mail carriers have faced their own challenges as front-line essential workers.
"We've had our own members take ill to the COVID-19," says Freeman. "It put a lot of stress on those because they've either had to take off due to a family member or themselves contracting the virus."
The Postal Service is funded solely through the sale of stamps and other services, and some estimates say funding could run out by the fall of 2021.
There have been calls to privatize it, but critics contend that could shut out rural communities not served by other delivery services.