Friday, August 12, 2011

Going Postal

Zerohedge has a good post about the USPS and it's dire circumstances.

The US postal service is on the verge of bankruptcy - That's what happens when you have labor force compensation (80% of all USPS costs), which is paid an average of $41.15 an hour, and which is over 60% unionized - with the union looking for more in the way of compensation while blocking any means to reduce significant costs.

So in an attempt to avoid bankruptcy, the USPS is now looking to pare down its total overhead by 20%, which translates into 120,000 workers - however this kind of cost reduction is apparently prohibited by existing union contracts! Additionally the USPS also wants to "withdraw its employees from the health and retirement plans that cover federal staffers and create its own benefit programs for postal employees."

Do you think the union will go for that?
Seems they don't understand the reality of their situation.
Their employer is BROKE!

The Washington Posts writes:
The layoffs would be achieved in part by breaking labor agreements, a proposal that drew swift fire from postal unions. The plan would require congressional approval but, if successful, could be precedent-setting, with possible ripple effects throughout government. It would also deliver a major blow to the nation’s labor movement...

The Postal Service said, “We will be insolvent next month due to significant declines in mail volume and retiree health benefit pre-funding costs imposed by Congress.”...

“The Postal Service is facing dire economic challenges that threaten its very existence. . . . If the Postal Service was a private sector business, it would have filed for bankruptcy and utilized the reorganization process to restructure its labor agreements to reflect the new financial reality”
Looks like the unions will be killing yet another goose that laid the golden egg...

They have already laid to rest the motto:
"Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds"

Which by the way was a quote from Herodotus' Histories (8.98), referring to the courier service of the ancient Persian Empire:

It is said that as many days as there are in the whole journey, so many are the men and horses that stand along the road, each horse and man at the interval of a day’s journey; and these are stayed neither by snow nor rain nor heat nor darkness from accomplishing their appointed course with all speed. (trans. A.D. Godley 1924)

A portion of this variation also appeared without citation in the USPS 2001 Comprehensive Statement on Postal Operations (1.A-1):[4]

We are mothers and fathers. And sons and daughters. Who every day go about our lives with duty, honor and pride. And neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night, nor the winds of change, nor a nation challenged, will stay us from the swift completion of our appointed rounds. Ever.

...Except if the unions decide otherwise.

Perhaps we'll have to resurrect the Pony Express.