Postal Service Under Pressure

PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) – Facing the prospect of massive budget cuts, layoffs, and even reducing service to five days a week, United States Postal Service employees are fighting back.

Across the country, members of postal unions are meeting for a day of action Tuesday, trying to preserve more than 100,000 postal service jobs. One local rally is being held outside the South Side offices of Congressman Mike Doyle.

NewsRadio 1020 KDKA’s Mike Pintek talks with Mike Plaskon, executive vice president of Letter Carriers Local 84.  Pintek asks Plaskon what the future holds for the postal service, and why the USPS is facing a budget crisis in the first place.

Listen to Mike Pintek every weekday from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. on NewsRadio 1020 KDKA!

More from Mike Pintek
  • sheila thomas

    The postal union doesn’t want to lose the jobs. If I worked for the Post Office, I wouldn’t want to lose my job either. Unless I found another unsustainable government/union job, the gravy train would be over. It would be welcome to the real world with real wages. The key word is unsustainable. Sure everyone would like to make double of what an average worker makes with cadillac benefits, but when 50 percent of the country do not pay taxes and want to live off other taxpayers, the money isn’t there. Put an end to career welfare recipients and nonstop Unemployment checks and people will get off the couch and get a job.

    • Bill DeVore

      Ma7ybe if you quit voting for people wh send all the good manufacturing jobs overseas, then maybe you would be able to find a good job. Unfortunately there aren’t any good jobs out there anymore, even if you have a college degree. They are all in China or India or Indonesia, or Guatemala or where-ever. You can’t lose a full time $20.00 an hour job and replace it with a part time minimum wage job and expect things to come out even. This is why people are losing their houses, defaulting on loans, filing bankruptcy, etc. There are only so many part time minimum wage jobs at Sheetz to go around. This is why the Federal government, the state government and the local governments, can’t make ends meet. It isn’t because of the police, firemen and teachers who still have a living wage, it’s because nobody else has a living wage to TAX. Bring back good paying manufacturing jobs to the USA, and all the rest of this B.S. will take care of itself.

      • Sonja Jones

        You are so right, I have spent my entire life going from one minimum wage job to another, each time working my way up the wage scale and the place would leave or go out of business. Six months ago, I lost another minimum wage job, the business shut down. Due to working for 40 years under such conditions, my tax money has reassured all the union people that they will have health benefits and a pension, but there is nothing for me and the other working poor.
        I am too tired at this point to continue this nonsense any more, there is no value in doing it.

      • Linda

        Your tax money did not to to the Post Office. It is run as a completely separate business. NO TAX Dollars go to the post office. Or to its Union. You may be listening to Fox News a little too much. do some research.

    • Linda

      did you know that the Post office is an independently run business, that it receives NO TAX Dollars, tht the only reason it is in ‘bankruptcy’ is because of a punitive financial burden imposed by the 1996 Congress, to prefund it’s retirement fund by 100% (instead of 30% as most businesses do). And that the Cato Institute (Koch Bros) in 1995 called for the privatization of the PO because, well, just because. They want no government involvement in anything. Period. And, their friends want the money from the profitable business. Private businesses would never deliver mail to every little hamlet in America. No profit in it! Too bad for 1/2 of America.

  • Burghless

    You know, I agreed with you up until the point of where you said to stop the unemployment checks. This country is in a deep recession heading into a depression, and a lot of working class as well as corporate positions have been cut, resulting in the highest unemployment numbers in the history of the U.S., even beating out those from the Depression. Why would you want to deny anyone who has worked their entire life and has been laid off, the opportuninty to feed their families? If the economy would improve, you would see that unemployment would improve as well. It’s a domino effect. Don’t begrudge the workers of America because they hit hard times. Have some compassion for those people who have worked their entire lives.

    • Brad Lodovico

      Do you realize out of the 50% of people who don’t pay income tax, 80% are seniors, people making less than $20,000, and families who are below the poverty line.

      • HardTimes

        And if Sheila Thomas had her way the other 50% wouldn’t be far behind. Work most of your life then lose your job and house is the new American way!

    • Linda

      Our unemploymnet numbers are high but not as high as during the Depression. I’ve read that 1 in 4 people lost their jobs back then. Now, we’re at 1 in 10. Bad enough, though.

  • Bernie

    The Post Office does not get any G- money , see how much the average Joe knows…

  • Dave

    While it is true that the post office is a government agency, which means although it is owned by the government, it is run separately from government as a commercial enterprise and is expected to make a profit, it is also true that taxpayers pay the government..

    • Bill DeVore

      ALL postal revenue comes from the sale of stamps and services. NOT ONE CENT comes from taxes. The postal service does not need nor want taxpayer money. We only want access to the money that has already been OVERPAID by 55 BILLION into the CSRS pension fund.
      It seems to me this is just one more attack by the Republican Facist Tea Baggers on the working people of America.

  • Critter

    All democrats. Fire them

  • chevelle64

    i would like to demand we bring back the milkman and breadman, i miss them even more!

  • TV Antenna Guy

    Bring back the guy with the vegetable truck and the encyclopedia salesman too.

  • Rob

    I can go without mail on Saturdays,I think it’s the logical thing to do.


    The postal workers especially the mail carriers are some of the hardest working people, delivery through rain, snow, extreme heat and cold especially on days of 2 or more feet of snow and I get my mail.
    God bless them and their families .

  • sam

    stopping mail delivery on Saturday is fine with me. Not having the post office around period is a terrible idea. its cheaper paying bills with stamps than what some companies charge to do it over the phone.

  • Sonja Jones

    If the post office is truly a private enterprise, it needs to run like one. I lost my job recently because the company was not profitable. All the demonstrating in the world would not bring my job back. This is reality, its where we are. The post office needs to put a 401k plan in place, employee pay for their own health care along with retirees. If the Post Office is still profitable at that point, then you have a REAL business.

    • Bill DeVore

      The Post Office is profitable from operations. The Postal service does have a 401-K it’s called the Thrift Saving Plan. And Postal Service Employees do pay for their health insurance. I Pay $100.57 every 2 weeks. Retirees have to pay about $ 350.00 a month for their health insurance. The problem is the Congressional mandate to pre-fund HealthCare for the next 75 years at a rate of 5.5 BILLION a year. What company in the world would show profits if Congress passed a law forcing them to put 5.5 BILLION a year into an escrow fund for people that don’t even work for the company yet.

  • Carolyn

    For Shelia and anyone else who thinks letter carriers are overpaid and not worth it. I would love to see you carry up to 40lb on your shoulder and walk 8-10 miles a day when it’s 90degrees or pouring down rain or 10-20 degrees outside and there is a foot of snow on the sidewalk and steps because people are to lazy to shovel. Oh, don’t let me forget about having to deal with your nasty pets.
    Thank You Bernie for knowing and understanding how the gov’t is involved with the Post office.
    Also, the Post Office can’t just raise prices when they want. How much has UPS or FedEx raised their prices over the past few years? They don’t have to get permission from the gov’t then have the entire country fuss because they are paying a penny more. ONE PENNY, but people will not think twice about the cost of a pack of smokes going up 30-40 cents. That’s okay with people.
    Do you actually think you are going to get someone to deliver mail right to your house/door in some remote locations or when it’s snowing or raining or the day after their team was just in the big game.
    Thank You “Independent Thought” for realizing how hard your letter carrier works.
    Finally, it is not okay to stop Saturday deliver. There would be 10’s of thousands of people jobless if that happens. This country cannot afford that to happen. You cannot afford that to happen. Oh, since it doesn’t affect you directly do you think it’s okay? Newsflash, IT IS NOT OKAY TO STOP SATURDAY MAIL DELIVERY!!!

    • Big Daddy Kahuna

      The bottom line here is CHANGE. Things need to CHANGE drastically with the USPS. Post offices need to close and staffing needs to realign. The USPS needs to learn how to do more with less. The post office cannot continue to lose hundreds of millions of dollars a year. Enough is enough!

  • piksburg

    bring back the pony express then

  • Dave

    No one is denying that the postal CARRIERS work hard. It’s the rest of the establishment that sucks. Just try going to your local post office and see how you are treated. They are very crude, rude people to deal with. For someone who works in customer service, they sure lack social skills.

    • Linda

      People ususally treat you as well as you treat them. Maybe you are the rude, crude one. I’ve rarely had an experience like you describe. The complaints would cost him his job.

      • Dave

        Typical rseponse. I’m in customer service, and I am abhored by the treatment the postal workers display towards their customers. It’s rare that you find an employee who actually puts a smile on their face. Oh, there was one station where the employee worked alone and always had a smile on her face, but they closed down her station and forced her to go elsewhere. Her name is Cindy, but other than her, I have encountered rude, discourteous and contentious employees at local post offices. If I treated the public with such disrespect, I would be out of a job.

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