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August 25, 2009

Post Office Offers Employee Buy-outs

Fresh from the President's observation that private package carriers always do better than the public option--"It's the Post Office that's always having problems!"--the government-run mail monopoly has announced its latest cost-cutting effort:

Financial incentive for early retirement. The Post Office is overstaffed.

Up to 30,000 employees can take the $15,000 bonus, which the Postal Service describes as a way to save up to $500 million in savings during the next fiscal year, which begins in October.

The offer is available to Post Office retail clerks, distribution center mail handlers and clerks, and motor vehicle technicians. Letter carriers are not eligible, since the Postal Service is targeting only areas where it has an excess of workers, and the number of addresses grows on average by 1.5 million each year, according to the agency.

The Postal Service negotiated the deal announced Tuesday with the American Postal Workers Union and the National Postal Mail Handlers Union.

The Postal Service lost $2.4 billion during its third quarter and forecasts a $7 billion year-end loss, according to figures released earlier this month. The financial woes can be tied in large measure to roughly $7 billion in mandated payments to fund current and future retiree health benefits. Postal officials say they will not make the payments for future retiree benefits if it faces an expected cash shortfall next month.

Come rain, come snow, come heat, come sleet, come $15,000 buy-out, nothing stops the mailman!


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posted by Gabriel Malor at 04:00 PM

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