In what continues to be a slow descent into oblivion, the U.S. Postal Service announced it had suffered another quarterly loss of $3.3 billion. Once again, blame was put on declining mail volume, and mounting costs for future retiree benefits. This huge loss comes after what traditionally is a USPS strong financial quarter that includes Christmas. That is definitely a bad omen. The report (linked above) states that on this present course, USPS will run out of money by October. I think they are being optimistic. At this rate, they will run out of money sometime this summer. No way they can make to October with losses that will exceed this latest quarterly report. Overhead, such as fuel cost, labor (despite technology changes, USPS is still greatly labor intensive), and just poor management is pouring gas onto a raging inferno.
As I have stated before, I worked for USPS at one time. I know how things are done there. Labor and Management have been at each other's throats since the 1970 Postal Service Reorganization Act was established giving workers the right to unionize at the Postal Service. EEO complaints, labor grievances and lots of internal strife have hurt productivity for many years at this quasi-government organization. I still know people who work for USPS. I am saddened to know things have not changed since I was in that workforce. If productivity improved, it might give USPS time to get a hold on its burdening debt. That is not likely to happen. You have lazy people working in USPS. You have lazy and incompetent managers who exacerbate the problems there. The beginning of the end were fax machines. Even that technology is now outdated. How does USPS plan to hold on? There is talk of ending Saturday delivery. There is talk of eliminating 100K jobs. There is talk of another increase in the price of stamps. USPS hopes to save around $6 billion in eliminating 3,200 post offices around the country. Of course, they are hoping for concessions from the unions in way of cutbacks on salary and benefits. The latter is very unlikely to happen in my opinion. The unions will go to the mattresses on those two issues.
I don't see USPS lasting to the end of this decade. I hope I am wrong about that. But, even if USPS gets all they have asked for in cuts and concessions, they cannot control high technological changes, fuel prices and other unforeseen expenses down the road. If they do surive, it will be totally unlike what you see now. The majority of people working there will be part-time workers with minimal benefits. That's a shame. Working for USPS, even under harsh circumstances of management, was a fulfilling job to have. But, the reality is, the USPS of today will not exist much longer.
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