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CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 27: Richard Coleman, Illinois state representative of the Mail Handlers Local 306, passes out signs at a postal workers rally outside the Thompson Center September 27, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The rally was one of many held nationwide by postal workers to try to gather support for H.R. 1351, a bill introduced in the House by Representative Stephen Lynch (D-MA) which the workers believe will prevent the closing of post offices, suspension of Saturday mail delivery and save up to 120,000 postal jobs.  (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images) CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 27: Richard Coleman, Illinois state representative of the Mail Handlers Local 306, passes out signs at a postal workers rally outside the Thompson Center September 27, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The rally was one of many held nationwide by postal workers to try to gather support for H.R. 1351, a bill introduced in the House by Representative Stephen Lynch (D-MA) which the workers believe will prevent the closing of post offices, suspension of Saturday mail delivery and save up to 120,000 postal jobs. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)  

Going postal: Mail worker unions overload tea party group with more than 100 pounds of mail

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Matthew Boyle
Investigative Reporter

In what appears to be an attempt to overwhelm their critics, postal union members have sent more than 100 pounds of mail to a tea party group advocating for United States Postal Service reform.

Donna Wiesner Keene of TheTeaParty.net told The Daily Caller the group receives its mail weekly, and that the onslaught so far has spanned two weeks. The first week, she said the union workers sent approximately 700 letters and delivered them in a box weighing 57 pounds.

Then, this week, Keene said the workers doubled down on their efforts, bringing the total weight of the mail her group received to over 110 pounds.

“I find the idea of the unions attacking a tea party group for simply supporting a bill that would make our whole country more efficient and that would lower the cost of the taxpayers’ yearly contributions to an inefficient agency, is just outrageous,” Keene said in a phone interview. “These union people need to be doing their jobs in the most efficient manner, and the Post Office needs to be losing people by attrition but doing a really good job of delivering our mail.”

“So, if they have time to write letters attacking a tea party group for supporting legislation, then they probably have time to have six-day delivery of the mail,” Keene added.

The bill the unions are adamantly opposing is USPS reform legislation proposed by House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa and GOP Rep. Dennis Ross. In a Daily Caller op-ed, Ross said the bill, HR 2309 or the Postal Reform Act of 2011, “would allow the Postal Service to restructure itself and reduce costs by removing unfunded mandates and costly regulations.”

“The cost-cutting structural reforms in the bill would save a bare minimum of $10.7 billion per year,” Ross wrote. “Under our legislation, if the Postal Service cannot meet its obligations to the U.S. taxpayer, the agency would be placed under a temporary receivership-like authority to overhaul its finances.”

The USPS has come under fire as of late for being unprofitable, partly caused by its loss of business to e-commerce and technology-driven communication. The USPS has also faced a barrage of criticism for serious systemic inefficiencies.

Ross estimates the USPS will lose $10 billion in 2011 alone and deems legislative reform necessary in order to save workers’ pensions and keep the postal system operational without a taxpayer bailout.

When TheDC tried calling the American Postal Workers Union, a subsidiary of the AFL-CIO, nobody answered the phone and there was no voicemail to leave a message.

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