Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Neither Rain, Nor Snow, Nor ... BS!

Postal Service To End Saturday Delivery of First Class Mail
BOSTON (CBS) – Get ready to say goodbye to Saturday mail delivery – most of it, anyway.
The U.S. Postal Service will announce Wednesday it wants to end Saturday delivery of first-class mail, starting August 1.
Only in the government would math like this make sense. The USPS lost $41 BILLION (with a "B") over the past six years. Now, using my trusty calculator, that's roughly $6.8 BILLION a year. They're going to save $2 billion a year by dropping Saturday delivery. So that means they'll only be losing $4.8 BILLION a year after reducing their services by more than 15%. Gee, maybe they should only deliver mail two days a week, then they'd break even!

Here's a hint, guys. It's not Saturday delivery that's sinking the USPS. It's the entitlement mentality of the unionized workers that know they can't be fired; that show up and do nothing; that retire after 20 years at a supervisor's level even though they only filled in for the super for the past few months - that's what's killing it. I took the Civil Service exam back in the early 1990s after college and was offered a job at the post office. It paid significantly more than other unskilled labor, and I knew from my mother-in-law who was a post office employee that there was plenty of overtime to me had.

Anyone want to bet how many employees will be let go as a result of dropping Saturday delivery? I'll bet the number is surprisingly low. They'll let a few of the casuals go, so they can claim a reduction in work force, but I'll guarantee you that no vested union members will be let go. They might get shuttled around to different locations - relocation was always a possibility - but they won't let anyone with any kind of seniority go. They'll still be on the hook for fat pensions and weeks upon weeks of sick and personal time, and we'll just get used to only getting mail during the week.

Or, we'll continue to use the private sector instead and let the bloated public system wither further...

That is all.


Andie said...

See, I'm not too worried about getting mail on Saturday... but I DO want to see some of the "restructuring" to include loss of deadwood, just like any decent business does to run on a more lean budget. But like you mentioned, the odds of that happening are slim...and slim ain't lookin' so good!

Adam said...

Post office is kind of in a jam. Obama and Bernanke continuously lie about inflation and cook the numbers that make up the CPI. Unfortunately, the post office is hooked up to the CPI in terms of raising the price of a stamp. So if they lie about the CPI, the post office can't raise their rates to get to solvency. The only rates they can raise are international, and those just about doubled a few weeks ago.

I would be perfectly fine with 2 or 3 days a week of mail delivery. The only thing keeping them in business is junk mail and forcing government entities to use their services.

Anonymous said...

the problem isn't in making money,it's due to the requirement that they "pre-pay" the pension fund.Imagine the day you get hired,the company has to set aside all your pension money that day!They are sitting on a fortune that they can't use or invest.

Wally said...

Function 14.

Self fulfilling.

lelnet said...

Even if they were _actually_ willing to cut jobs for real, stopping only 1st class delivery on Saturdays wouldn't do much of it, as long as all their facilities were still open and their delivery people were still delivering (for the higher-than-1st-class stuff). Say that "we're now totally closed on Saturday, the way we are on Sunday" or else it's nothing but posturing.

Knucklehead said...

The extreme level to which Congress forced the USPS to pre-fund the pension system has seriously damaged them financially. But some 70% or so of their costs are for personnel.

That half-price or less mail they keep bringing me to throw into the recycle bin isn't helping things either. If I throw that crap in the garbage where it belongs I am subject to fines. I don't want it, didn't ask for it, why am I responsible for its disposal? Charge more for bulk mail!

BTW, in its defense, the USPS is a pretty efficient organization. They just aren't priced and staffed properly.

John said...

Up-front acknowledgement: I retired from the USPS. Yes, there is some "dead wood" in the work force; but the big problems are much higher up. Check how many former Postmasters General in the last couple of decades have gone directly from the PG's office to jobs with bulk mailers. When management refers to "customers" now they don't mean folks with curbside boxes, they mean companies with thousands of presorted pieces. Rant over.

Anonymous said...

To knuckle head and John,
Regarding bulk mailing,other than ads such as the grocery ads,the true junk mail only gets paid for if the mail is returned,as in "apply for this credit card" self addressed stamped envolope.If thats not mailed back,the post office gets nothing for its work.The solution? Fill that envolope with other junk mail!The post office gets paid,and we can annoy the company in return!