Proposed postal service cuts draw criticism

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Plans by the U.S. Postal Service to continue cutting back services are not sitting well with union leaders or customers.

The latest suggestion is eliminating traditional door-to-door mail delivery and switching to centralized cluster boxes or curbside mail boxes by 2015. A spokesman said the U.S. Postal Service spends $33 billion annually on home delivery, or roughly $353 per home, per year. Home delivery is the agency’s single largest expense.

Machelle Louchery of Youngstown said she used cluster boxes when she lived in Florida and didn’t like it.

“If you had a cluster box, you wouldn’t be able to get a large package into a cluster box. So the mail delivery would leave a note saying you had to go to the post office, which was an inconvenience to yourself,” Louchery said. “There were a lot of times peoples’ mail were taken out. You lost a key and it would be like an act of congress to get a key back.”

All the same, lawmakers in Washington are discussing the postal cuts this week and local union leaders said they’re already being told to brace for immediate reductions if the measure should pass.

“The whole idea behind this is to entice businesses to privatize the postal service by selling it off, basically putting the postal service on auction to sell it to the highest bidder. And whatever is left over, it’ll subcontract out and it’ll charge people to have mail delivered to their house,’ said Dominic Corso with the U.S. Postal Workers Local 443.

A Postal Service spokesman said the agency loses $25 million a day and desperately needs to cut its costs. But leaders with the postal workers union claim certain lawmakers have their own plans.

“The numbers are bogus. The postal service is the richest broke company ever,” Corso said.

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