Rally to save Saturday delivery this Sunday in Minneapolis

Demonstrators marched in St. Paul during a "Save Our Postal Service" rally on Cathedral Hill last year.

Demonstrators marched in St. Paul during a “Save Our Postal Service” rally on Cathedral Hill last year.

Supporters of protecting Saturday mail delivery will rally Sunday in Minneapolis, and Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton is among the speakers scheduled to participate in the event.

The rally will take place outside the main Minneapolis Post Office, located at the intersection of 1st Street South and Marquette Avenue. It will begin at 1 p.m., and members of the community are invited to attend.

The U.S. Postal Service announced plans Feb. 6 to transition to a new delivery schedule in August, eliminating Saturday delivery of all mail except packages.

The Postal Service expects to generate cost savings of approximately $2 billion annually, but unions representing Postal Service employees have pledged to fight the change.

“The Postal Service’s plan to shrink the Postal Service and end six-day service is an attack on the future of this great institution, on the customers who need it and on the employees who support it,” organizers of Sunday’s event said in a press release. “Many Americans – especially small-business owners, senior citizens and rural residents – would suffer if the strength and reach of our Postal Service is compromised.

“In addition, cutting Saturday mail would delay important household and business transactions, including bills, invoices and personal communications, and may force customers to shift to high-cost competing services.”

To restore the USPS to financial stability, unions say, Congress should repeal provisions of a 2006 postal reform law that require the Postal Service to pre-fund health care benefits for future retirees – even those who haven’t begun working for the Postal Service yet.

“The agency’s crisis is a direct result of an unsustainable congressional mandate,” American Postal Workers Union President Cliff Guffey said. “No other entity – public or private – bears this burden.”

Other confirmed speakers for the Minneapolis event include House Majority Leader Erin Murphy, AFL-CIO State Retirees Council President Bill Moore and Rev. David Guttermann.

A similar rally will take place Sunday in Duluth, at the corner of Lake Avenue and Superior Street, beginning at noon.

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