A hat tip to postal workers

June 22, 2013 

Just a reminder that July 1 is National Postal Workers Day.

The men and women who work in our post offices are among the best workers in America. Every day, the letter carriers probably walk four to eights miles with a load of mail in their arms. In addition, they are outside in temperatures that range from below zero to more than 100 degrees. They work in bone-drenching rain and at times they have to literally skate on frozen streets, driveways and sidewalks because of the sleet and snow.

I don't think many of us would trade jobs with them under those extreme weather conditions. Yet the letter carriers are there six days a week performing their first-class services, quickly, reliably, professionally and for the lowest postage rates in the industrial world.

And what about the postal finances? Eighty percent of the red ink is a result of an unprecedented and unnecessary mandate imposed by Congress in 2006. This mandate to "pre-fund" forces the postal service to fund retiree health benefits 75 years in advance -- and do so in just 10 years. No other government agency has this requirement.

Moreover, we hear that the postal service costs billions of taxpayer dollars annually. This is not true. Since 1982, the postal service has not received any taxpayer money to fund operations.

Finally, on July 1, when you see a postal employee, give him or her a great, big smile followed by a heartfelt thank you.

Frank Pawloski

Belleville

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