(June 27) Regarding Glenn Kessler’s June 22 Fact Checker column, “Postal Service, carriers’ union out of sync on the number of jobs lost if Saturday mail stops”:
Mr. Kessler seems to view our rural carrier associates (RCAs) as second-class employees whose jobs do not matter because they work “one or two days a week.” But data provided to the National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association by the U.S. Postal Service show that the vast majority of RCAs typically average 30 hours or more a week; some work up to 50 hours a week.
Mr. Kessler also failed to note that RCAs often work five or more years before they secure full-time employment on a regular route. It is a long but important apprenticeship. Many RCAs are single mothers working to put food on the table. Others are Iraq or Afghanistan veterans trying to re-enter the workforce and find full-time employment. RCAs carry the same level of responsibility as regular carriers. However, unlike a regular carrier, an RCA may be required to deliver a route with little to no notice, assist on other routes and perform additional duties.
RCAs are not expendable. Tens of thousands of associates work four, five or six days a week. They are our future full-time rural letter carriers, and their lifestyles and livelihoods would be greatly affected if the Postal Service eliminated a day of delivery. We don’t need to add to the unemployment rolls, especially when the economic recovery is not yet complete.
Jeanette Dwyer, Alexandria