Things are going from bad to worse at the United States Post Office. The agency is facing a second year of losses topping $8 billion, and they are now prepared to take even more drastic actions!
First off - post office officials considering cutting as many as 120,000 jobs. They also want to pull its workers out of the retirement and health benefits plans covering federal workers and set up its own benefits system.
This is all in response to them not being able to make a $5.5 billion payment to cover future employee health care costs due at the end of next month! It is the only federal agency required to make such a payment.
But in order to do any of this - they need Congressional approval. And, these plans would face severe opposition from... what else... the unions!
Many postal unions have contracts that ban layoffs. Postal officials have sought Congressional approval on a host of plans over the last few years - including requests to be allowed to end Saturday mail delivery.
Several bills have been proposed - but as usual - none have been acted on. Even so, the post office has already cut 110,000 jobs over the last four years and is working to cut 7,500 administrative positions.
In addition, the Post Office recently said it's considering closing more than 3,600 post offices, stations and other facilities.
That's one-tenth of its offices around the country. And in June, the Post Office suspended contributions to its employees' pension fund!
Look, I like the Post Office as much as the next person, but it's an outdated institution and it's time they entered the 21st century.
In the last two years - total mail volume has plummeted by more than 30 billion items! Also, the retirement systems they have in place are completely unsustainable. Fewer people use the agency, but they're paying their employees more?!?
Like everything else in this country - cuts need to be made! I don't know about you, but I don't want them using the word "bailout" again in Washington any time soon!
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