US postal system facing insolvency
Sat Aug 13, 2011 12:59AM
Rhonda Pence, Press TV, Washington
Mail delivery is as much a tradition as apple pie and baseball in America. Americans are used to getting mail delivered six days a week, Monday through Saturday. But that convenience may soon change.
According to internal documents, the U.S. Postal Service is contemplating eliminating Saturday mail delivery, closing nearly 37 hundred locations across the country, and rapidly laying off 20 percent of it's entire workforce. Why? Because the agency is broke and losing money.
According to documents, the US postal service says it can only afford to employ 425 thousand workers by 2015. It needs to layoff 120 thousand workers and have 100 thousand workers leave voluntarily to reach that goal. But there's a huge obstacle. Collective bargaining
agreements between the Postal Service and unionized employees contain layoff restrictions that make it impossible for the post office to reduce it's workforce.
The Postal Service is facing insolvency in September due to massive retirement system pre-payments it's required to make. USPS is seeking to opt out of the federal government's retirement system and health plan and establish it's own plan reflecting lower benefit
trends in the private sector.
Vernuccio says problems with USPS could have been avoided if responsible measures had been taken years ago, but he says unions have too much power.
With the Postal Service on the brink of total financial
collapse, experts worry about another taxpayer bailout.
Some Capitol Hill lawmakers are working on to prevent a taxpayer bailout and steer the Postal Service clear from bankruptcy. Union leaders are already denouncing the tentative layoff and benefit changes.