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Cummings: Postal Service’s cuts would unduly affect minorities

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The U.S. Postal Service's decision to cut Saturday delivery could disproportionally affect minorities, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings said Friday.

"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," Mr. Cummings, Maryland Democrat, told MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry.

The lawmaker, who is the ranking member on the House Oversight Committee, also said the cuts could negatively affect women and single mothers, who make up 40 percent of the workforce.

"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," he added.

The Postal Service said it would end Saturday delivery in an effort to save $2 billion. The service lost $15.9 billion last year, partly because of a requirement to pay health benefits to future retirees.

"[W]e have to downsize with compassion," Mr. Cummings said. "Keep in mind we have more than 100,000 people that are right now eligible to retire. And what we have to do now is make sure that they have a decent parachute to land. In other words, to give them some incentive money so they can go ahead and retire, and so that we can right-size the post office."

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