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Postal workers march against cutting delivery days

COLONIE -- Area postal workers picketed outside the main distribution facility against eliminating Saturday delivery service. The postal service has $1.3 billion so far this year, but workers fear ending Saturday delivery will only be the start.

“They will most certainly move from five days to four days to the point where there are elements in this country who want to take over the postal service and it will end as you know it,” said William Cook, Director of Legislation with the New York State Association of Letter Carriers.

Two bills have been sponsored in Congress to avoid ending Saturday delivery and eliminate a federal requirement to fund pensions and health care well in advance. 

“Seventy percent of the losses have been because of this requirement and there's been a drop in First Class Mail because of a recession, but we don't drop the services because we're coming out of a recession, we look forward to economic growth,” said Rep. Paul Tonko (D) Amsterdam. “I call upon our house and the Republican leadership to act accordingly to pass that bill.”

Tonko joined 70 Democrats and one Republican as co-sponsors of the Postal Service Protection Act of 2013, which would require the postal service to maintain six day delivery and adjust retirement fund contributions.

Other area lawmakers also expressed support for maintaining service and adjusting federal requirements to stabilize the service.

“We need to preserve this six day service. it's so critically important to our economy,” said Rep. Chris Gibson (R) Kinderhook. “We have worked really hard on that down at the congress. I'm not going to tell you it's done because there is more work to be done on this.