Letter to the Editor

USPS offers big service at fair cost

Thursday, January 13, 2005

To the editor:

Sam Ryan's "Resolution: USPS will lose weight, get in shape" is not representative of the U.S. Postal Service. The USPS is a self-supportive entity and receives nothing from taxes. Ryan's doom-and-gloom opinion that the public "will be on the hook for a massive bailout" is completely off mark, as is his comment that labor is the Postal Service's No. 1 problem. I take offense that I or any other clerks or carriers are the No. 1 problem.

We are somewhat equivalent to FedEx and slightly under UPS in pay. I wonder what Ryan compares us to when stating we are paid 25 percent more than our private-sector counterparts.

Ryan's accusation that we use our monopoly on letters to undercut the private sector on overnight delivery is wrong. No other companies will take universal service. They only want the profitable services. Who else will deliver a letter to an individual on a county road in the middle of nowhere for 37 cents? We will -- six days a week.

USPS continues to cut costs, reduce debt, improve service and show surpluses of $3.9 billion in 2003 and $3.1 billion in 2004. The Bush administration has recently shifted over $20 billion in benefits for military retirees onto USPS and still refuses to open up $27 billion from civil-service retirement that was overfunded. These two alone could be mitigating enough to alleviate a rate hike.

SEAN KNUPP, President, Local 4088,

American Postal Workers Union, AFL-CIO, Cape Girardeau