Photograph by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.
A small group of postal workers traveled to Washington, D.C., on Monday to begin a four-day hunger strike. Their basic message to lawmakers: "Stop starving the Postal Service."
As the Washington Post points out, the hunger strike comes just days before the U.S. Postal Service ends overnight delivery for about one-fifth of first-class mail. That reduction in service is one of many planned for the post office over the next several years as lawmakers attempt to curb federal spending as Americans increasingly opt for electronic communications over the printed word. As things stand now, the post office is projected to lose $14 billion this fiscal year.
The organizing group, Communities and Postal Workers United, formed this spring to protest the planned job cuts and service reductions. They were to kick off the four-day protest on Monday with a press conference at the Capitol with Rep. Dennis Kucinich, the only lawmaker who is backing the effort. The demonstrations will end Thursday with a rally in front of the post office's headquarters, where protesters hope to land a face-to-face meeting with Postmaster General Patrick Donohoe.
In addition to endorsements from local chapters of post office unions, the effort has also found some support from Occupy-related groups.