Monday, August 15, 2011

Post Office to Operate in Non-Bankruptcy Bankruptcy

They Are Bankrupt, Except  They Cannot be Bankrupt

Camden Post Office 1917 -
Post Office Management Practices - 1817

The Dismal Political Economist has written about the perilous conditions of the U. S. Postal Service.  In a situation which was obvious to everyone except Postal Officials and the Congress, the Post Office is insolvent.  It does not have the cash flow to sustain its losses, and those losses look unending.

Reality has finally struck senior management of the Post Office and they are proposing a radical restructuring the Service.

The financially strapped U.S. Postal Service is considering cutting as many as 120,000 jobs.

Facing a second year of losses totaling $8 billion or more, the agency also wants to pull its workers out of the retirement and health benefits plans covering federal workers and set up its own benefit systems.

Congressional approval would be needed for either step, and both could be expected to face severe opposition from postal unions which have contracts that ban layoffs.

To do all of this will require voiding union contracts. If the Postal Service were in actual legal bankruptcy, those contracts would be voided as a rule of law.  Because the Service will apparently not enter formal bankruptcy it will need Congress to pass a law voiding the contracts.

Needless to say the Postal Unions are strongly opposed to any layoffs or benefit changes.

Admirable Union Activity
The Coming Challenges Will be Challenges

“The APWU will vehemently oppose any attempt to destroy the collective bargaining
rights of postal employees or tamper with our recently negotiated contract — whether by postal management or members of Congress,” American Postal Workers Union President Cliff Guffey said.

“Our advisers are not encouraging us at all to even consider it,” said National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association President Don Cantriel.


National Association of Letter Carriers President Fredric V. Rolando said: “The issues of lay-off protection and health benefits are specifically covered by our contract. ... The Congress of the United States does not engage in contract negotiations with unions, and we do not believe they are about to do so.”

Parked - The Future of the Post Office?

The problems of the Postal Service are management’s fault.  The unions are culpable only to the extent that they represented their member interests too well, and for some reason were up against a compliant management that entered into contracts that provided benefits that were unsustainable by a business in sharp decline.  The Congress is also a guilty party here, on a bi-partisan basis, for not allowing the Postal Service the freedom to manage its affairs like a normal business, and for not ensuring that management of the Postal Service had minimal competence.

Bad news for unions.  Your current economic situation is unsustainable unless the Congress votes to continue huge subsidies.  You are going to have to engage in huge givebacks.  Everyone wishes this were not the case, but that is reality.  The best thing that you can do is to get out of the denial mode and sit with management and try to work together to minimize the damage to workers and at the same time get the USPS solvent.  It may be that this cannot be done because of the obviously limited managerial ability of management, and the political influence of the Congess.

And unions, if you wish to take this out on the Obama Administration, take a minute to think what union status in the USPS would be like with a Republican President who attitude is like the Governors of Indiana, Wisconsin and Ohio.  Is that what you want?

For the Obama administration, this is another in a long series of traps.  Supporting the unions will require billions of dollars of subsidies from the Congress.  Taking the side of the Postal Service Management, which seems required by any standard of business practices will alienate a key constituency that Mr. Obama needs for re-election. 

Really, not something the President needs at this time.


  1. Filing for bankruptcy is a big step. But, it can be just what you need to do. Or, maybe, it's the last thing you should be considering.
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  2. free google book to read or, search inside this book: The Post Office, its past record, its present condition and its potential relation to the new world era, Daniel Calhoun Roper, chairperson United States Tariff Commision and First Assistant Post Master General 1913-1917. In around 1916 congress was ignoring the plight of postal workers so collective bargaining was formed. In 1971 , congress was again ignoring the plight of postal workers who went on strike due to working 3 jobs to surive, one was the uspo, or were on welfare working and getting paid for the job at uspo. The no strike law came in to effect and increase in collective bargaining rights re enforeced. In 2000, 2001, postal letter carriers,and craft members were made to pay in an extra 15 percent to their federal retirement systems ( nalc legislative fact sheet cira 2000) fers and csrs ( same systems that congress uses) under the 1997 budget reconcilation act for budget reasons only. The tax increase was removed from the Presidents budget in 2002, after the postal employees had been thanked by the President and congress for their ' sacrifice'. New legisltation began which resulted becaue of overpayments or overfunding of the federal retirement systems of the usps workers, 15 billion over for fers, and 140 billion for csrs ( see postal comments to the federal trade commision, august 6, 2007) pmg potter under the new law of paea, recieved a 72 thousand dollar raise in 2007, reoactive to dec 2006 with the passing of the paea, doubling his salary and benifits over the cap by law of the vice presidents to double of the Presidents. $800, 000 a year and the retiring in 2010, with 5.5 milion ( anually) meanwhile the paea stipulated since there was too much money in postal retirement, that 5bilion would be placed aside out of postal profits that letter carriers and craft members helped to earn be set aside for workers not born or working for the usps yet, for the next 75 years, from 2006 until 2016 in escrow, meanwhile since the usps was broke from a false manafactured crisis by congress, postal employees would get non replacement of retirees and the slashing of staff nation wide called non repalcement of attrition. the following links may provide more information: APWU 3800, Pa first area tricounty local, library, stress in the workplace articals, how the ongoing violation of the guiding principles of the usps are creating a toxic work environment. bill burras wrote about phoney excuses for divering usps revenues and myths versus facts, but search engines cant seem to find the website, www. misc. then go to search ALeC/koch cabal the privitization of USPS for Ups and FedEx, bob sloan,, april 2012, Tim McCown artical june 2012, behind all the schemes and lies of the privitization of usps, and michigan american postal workers union, the truth behind the postal crisis, and