10 US postal workers on hunger strike


US Postal Service letter carrier Juan Padilla puts letters into a mailbox as he walks his delivery route on December 5, 2011 in San Francisco, California.


Justin Sullivan

10 current and retired postal workers are on day two of a hunger strike to protest Congress' interference with the United States' Postal Service, National Public Radio reported.

"Not the Internet, not the recession, not private competition, Congress is killing the postal service," Community and Postal Workers United wrote in a statement. The strike is to go till Thursday.

"Rallies and marches just aren't working anymore," Tom Dodge, 58, a postal truck driver from the Baltimore area told CNNMoney. "It's time to take a stand on this. The post office is a part of our Constitution."

The workers want to head off planned postal closings in July for some 48 mail processing plants. Under a proposed plan, 229 plants will be consolidated or closed and 28,000 jobs eliminated by the end of 2014, NPR reported.

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According to Reuters, protesters want Congress to eliminate a 2006 requirement that the agency pay retiree health benefits 75 years in advance.

Additional hunger strikes and protests are planned in Seattle, Chicago and New York, according to Communities and Postal Workers United.

Reuters said protesters contend that without the prefunding requirement, postal revenues would have matched expenses over the past six years.

The post office lost $3.2 billion in the first quarter of 2012 and has since been looking at cost cutting measures such as layoffs, staff buyouts and closings.