Post Office Considers Another Round of Layoffs

By Scott Sarvay
By Max Resnik

August 12, 2011 Updated Aug 12, 2011 at 5:44 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (Indiana’s NewsCenter) - The U.S. Postal Service is proposing to cut 120,000 jobs by 2015 in addition to cutting their employees’ federal health and retirement plans.

The USPS has already cut more than 100,000 jobs over the past four years and has recently flirted with the possibility of closing approximately 3,700 post offices around the nation and reducing the number of days that mail is delivered from six days to five days. From a financial standpoint, the USPS has lost about $20 billion dollars over the last five years including $8.5 billion in 2010.

Doug Brown, President of the Indiana Postal Workers Union, says much of their financial disruption is due to the Postal Enhancement and Accountability Act passed by Congress in 2006. Part of the law requires the postal service to pre-fund their retirement for their employees within 10 years. That cost to the postal service is $5.5 billion. Brown says reversing this act could actually show the profitability of the USPS, save jobs and not disrupt mail delivery.

“If Congress would act, they would undo what they created in 2006. Let the postal service utilize the money they've already paid to the United States Treasury. The postal service would effectively be making a profit over the last four years.”

Brown also says that reducing the USPS’ labor force and closing 3,700 post offices would have large negative effects on the economy. Brown says the USPS accounts for about $700 billion dollars of the economy.

“There are things associated with the delivery of mail that often times people don’t consider such as companies that manufacture mailboxes, manufacturers of tires, vehicles that the carriers drive out in the country, building and construction. There are a whole number of things that go into the mail service.”

Brown says the Postal Service’s lobbying efforts should now be focused on HR 1351, a bill that reverses the obligation of the postal service to pre-fund 75 years worth of retirement.




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