Post Office Supporters Rally Downtown

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COLUMBIA - Local supporters of the United States Postal Service protested Thursday a U.S. Senate Bill that could put some postal workers out of a job.

According to the National Association of Letter Carriers, U.S. Senate Bill 1789 could close post offices around the country and lay off thousands of employees. Also, the NALC said the bill could end six-day mail service and begin to phase out door-to-door deliveries.

Almost two dozen community members and postal workers gathered outside Senator Claire McCaskill's Columbia office, while fewer supporters rallied outside of Senator Roy Blunt's office as well. The protestors carried signs protesting the bill, as cars would pass honking their horns.

Jeff Connell of the National Association of Letter Carriers said postal carriers provide a service that makes life easier for everyone.

"Door-to-door service is huge. I mean they could put central box units 2 miles from your house. Instead of getting your mail at your house, you're going to have to walk two miles to get your mail out of a box," Connell said.

McCaskill voted in favor of a cloture motion of the bill on March 27. John LaBombard, a spokesperson for McCaskill, issued this statement for the senator:

"As someone born and raised in rural Missouri, Claire knows firsthand that the Postal Service is a crucial lifeline for businesses and families, and she shares the concerns about this legislation in its current form. That's why she's fighting to dramatically reduce the unnecessary funding requirements the Postal Service is subject to, to preserve six-day delivery, and to stop the closures of rural post offices."

James Marsden is a former U.S. Marine and works in a postal office in Columbia. He said the postal office is a vital part of how people communicate with each other. He also said being able to hold a tangible letter is something that technology, such as e-mail, cannot provide.

 "When I was in the Marine Corp in Vietnam, I could take out a letter from my girlfriend, who is now my wife, and I could hold it and touch it. I could take it out whenever I needed it. I didn't have to run into the other room and get my internet connection," Marsden said.