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
The writer is president of the National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association.