In the middle of delivering a keynote address, Postmaster General and Chief Operating Officer of the U.S. Postal Service Patrick Donahoe was interrupted by Occupy DC protesters calling on him to resign, angry over pensions and warning against privatization of the post office.
“Hey, hey, ho, ho, Donahoe has got to go,” chanted the protestors at the National Press Club on Monday. “Don’t privatize the post office. It’s a public service. It’s not a profit center for FedEx and UPS to rip off the people. Return the overpaid pension funds. … Stop closing post offices.”
Outside of the building, protesters yelled, “This is what democracy looks like” and “We are the 99 percent.”
Once security ushered the protesters out of the room, Donahoe said to the audience, “The good thing is they’ve definitely been paying attention to the situation. At any rate, if we could only get that $11.4 billion back we could be able to keep a couple of post offices open.”
In his remarks, Donahoe called on Congress to offer the post office more “flexibility” so it can operate like a business to avoid bankruptcy.
“Most retail companies would close retail stores that fail to turn profit,” Donahoe said. “Roughly 25,000 out of our 32,000 post offices operate at a loss. We’ve got thousands of post offices that bring in less than $20,000 of revenue in a year, but cost more than 60,000 dollars to operate. … It makes no business sense.”
The U.S. Postal Service ended the fiscal year 2011 with a $5.1 billion loss.
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