The U.S. Postal Service reported a massive profit for the quarter ended Dec. 31 but it’s doing so on the backs of their workers and are still closing post offices in defiance of pressure from some members of Congress and others.
What’s more, even President Barack Obama is calling for further reductions in the number of postal workers—and even the eventuality of curbside mail delivery– in his latest budget proposal, according to Government Executive http://www.govexec.com/management/2016/02/usps-records-first-profit-five-years-obama-calls-shedding-12k-postal-jobs/125825/
The outgoing President wants to cut more jobs and initiate curbside delivery?
Not only are these proposals total nonstarters, they are tone deaf to the wants of business, let alone ordinary people. And the USPS has already shot them down.
If Obama wants to burnish his legacy and help Hillary Clinton get elected President then why is he turning his back on his party’s traditional base of organized labor?
Maybe he’s just kowtowing to the Republican-dominated Congress or he sees a future for himself in corporate America as do so many other federal officials.
For the quarter ended Dec. 31, the USPS reported net income of $307 million, a $1.1 billion improvement over a net loss of $754 million for the same period last year http://about.usps.com/news/national-releases/2016/pr16_006.htm.
The change in net income “was most significantly affected by a $1.2 billion favorable change in the workers’ compensation expense,” said the USPS in a statement. In other words it got away with paying workers fewer benefits.
The postal service also benefited from 4.3% exigent rate increase last year ridiculously low interest rates. If they get any lower depositors may even have to pay banks to hold onto their money. But that’s a subject that’s too complicated to address here.
Of course the USPS is still crying wolf, saying that it would have lost billions if it weren’t for those two factors.
“While net income is favorable compared to a net loss, it unfortunately does not reflect the end of our losses,” said chief financial officer and executive vice president Joseph Corbett. “Excluding the favorable impact of interest rate changes and the exigent surcharge, the organization would have actually reported a net loss of approximately $700 million in the first quarter.
Predictably, the postal service reported revenue of $19.3 billion for the quarter driven by a record amount of package revenue.
Even with the USPS’s improved finances, it is continuing to close facilities despite its official moratorium on doing so until the middle of this year. Only the postal service calls them “emergency suspensions,” according to savethepostoffice.com http://www.savethepostoffice.com/emergency-suspensions-post-offices-fy-2015.
These look like semantic games to cloud bad faith efforts to destroy the postal service and deprive people of jobs.
And the whole issue of trying to sell postal products through Staples office supply stores just isn’t going away even though it’s being litigated now through the National Labor Relations Board, according to KDKA radio in Pittsburgh http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2016/02/21/postal-workers-protest-operations-being-diverted-to-staples/.
The postal service will still be faced with these issues no matter who’s president or how many attempts Congress may make to enact further postal reform.