The U.S. Postal Service, which predicts a loss this year of as much as $9 billion, may seek to break union contracts so it can slash 220,000 jobs by 2015 and withdraw from federal health-benefit and retirement programs, according to draft proposals.
The collective bargaining agreements that prevent mass firings are keeping the service from reducing its workforce “as quickly as is now clearly needed,” the agency wrote in a draft document. The Postal Service has about 560,000 full-time, non- contract workers. Retirement and voluntary departures would only account for 100,000 jobs, the service estimated.
A story we will continue to follow. If you ship stuff for a living, it’s interesting to watch the postal service change as financial crises hit everyone, everywhere. For awhile we heard they might suspend Saturday service for pick up and delivery, but that hasn’t happened yet.
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From the Indiana News Center:
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.”
The USPS wanting out of freely and openly negotiated labor contracts is ridiculous. After the negotiating the latest contract with the American Postal Workers Union, the USPS hailed it as a win-win solution. Apparently the USPS negotiated labor contracts that they never intended to honor, a violation of Federal Law. This isn’t about making the Postal Service profitable. It is about crushing the one of the last large labor unions left in the US.