After the United States Postal Service announced that it intends to stop delivering mail on Saturdays in an effort to cut costs beginning this August, many praised it as a relatively straightforward way to save roughly $2 billion a year.
Some lamented the inconvenience of the change and others were alarmed at what that means for post office employees. Not many, though, tied the matter to race or gender.
Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) was apparently one of them.
He explained on MSNBC:
“You’re talking about just this reduction … from six days to five days, will cut anywhere from 25,000 to 30,000 employees. And with regard to Asian, African-Americans, and Hispanics, they comprise about 40 percent of the Postal Service employees. So it’s logical to believe if they were to lose that 30,000 jobs, easily 40 percent of them would be African-Americans, Hispanics, and Asian-Americans.”
According to The Hill, Cummings proceeded to point out that over 40 percent of the post office’s employees are also women:
“So you have a lot of women, many of whom are single women — head of household, and they depend upon that decent wage, decent working conditions and benefits to take care of their families.”
But Cummings’ bottom line is that stopping Saturday mail delivery is harmful for the nation at large.
“So, yes, it would have a devastating effect in an economy that is already very, very fragile,” he concluded.
Here’s video of the interview, via MSNBC:
The Post Office recorded a net loss of $15.9 billion for 2012, according to the Washington Post. That’s three times the loss recorded a year earlier.
This post has been updated.