A couple of dozen U.S. Postal Service workers protested what they said was the potential loss of more than 100 local jobs Saturday outside Baltimore's main post office on Fayette Street.
The workers held signs with messages such as "Customers First" and "Save America's Postal Service" and chanted, "When postal workers' jobs are under attack, what do we do? Stand up, fight back," as a steady stream of customers visited the main post office and some drivers honked their horns to show support.
Rachel Walthall of Owings Mills, an officer with the American Postal Workers Union who has worked for the Postal Service for 24 years, said management sent internal letters this month to workers to warn them that the agency was looking to cut vacant positions.
Such cuts would cause workers to be sent to different locations or be put on different shifts, ultimately affecting wait times and the pace of mail delivery, she said.
"We're concerned employees; our job is to service the customer," Walthall said. "When we took the oath to become postal employees, it was to make sure that we gave the customers the best service. But we know the cuts in jobs will affect the customers."
A spokeswoman for the Postal Service did not respond to requests for comment.
Union officials said the cuts in the Baltimore region would be made in the upcoming fiscal year that begins Oct. 1. They asked the public to contact members of Congress and write letters to the postmaster general to oppose any reductions in jobs.
Donna Moore and Beatrice Williams stopped by the post office at 900 E. Fayette St. Saturday afternoon to check their mail. The women said they were worried about any cuts slowing down delivery or adding wait times at local offices.
"That's exactly what's going to happen!" Moore said.
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The Postal Service's financial challenges have been well-documented. In May, the agency reported a quarterly loss of $562 million, despite an increase in package delivery. A main cause of the loss was fewer first-class mailings coupled with retiree health care obligations.
The Postal Service's operating revenue was reported at $17.3 billion, about $475 million less than the same time last year.