The disappearing USPS union letter


We’ll have more about this in Monday’s edition of Federal Times, but it’s an odd enough story that I think it merits a blog post tonight.

The major postal unions — APWU, NALC, NRLCA and NPMHU — sent a letter on Tuesday to Jim Messina, the White House deputy chief of staff. They requested a meeting to discuss the Postal Service’s “deepening crisis.” They want the White House to intervene with Congress and reduce the Postal Service’s contributions to its retiree health care trust fund. Without that change, the Postal Service is going to run out of cash this year.

The letter was posted on at least one of their Web sites (APWU) earlier today; it has since been removed. I printed it out earlier this afternoon, and we’ve posted a scanned copy (pdf) here — I guess hard copies are still useful sometimes, huh?

Anyway, the letter includes this statement:

Its top executives are now saying that the USPS will default on a $5.4 billion payment to prefund future retiree health benefits on September 30, 2009. And its government affairs representatives are now telling Congressional staff that the Postal Service may not be able to make payroll in October and will be forced to issue IOUs instead.

I talked to Joe Corbett, the Postal Service’s chief financial officer, earlier this evening. He said the first part of that statement is true: He’s “not confident” that the Postal Service will be able to make its retiree health care trust fund payment, even if H.R. 22 passes Congress.

But as for the second part, about the Postal Service missing its payroll, here’s what Corbett said:

Absolutely not. There has not been any discussion internally. We will make payroll, full stop. That’s something we have been adamant about… we just had a discussion about this yesterday in our executive committee.

That’s the second time in a week I’ve heard talk of the Postal Service missing its payroll — so this is obviously a meme that is spreading. Where is it coming from? If you work in the Postal Service, or on Capitol Hill, and you’ve heard this kind of talk, let me know via e-mail (your name stays confidential, of course).


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  1. i have been with the posta lservice 26 years and this sounds like more of their “scare tactics”
    being the third or fourth largest employer in theUS, this rumor would motivate many to encourage a”government bailout” when what is really needed is reform from the TOP down.
    |I have never seen so much mismanagement rewarded so handsomely as the current USPS

  2. So much to say – but no one that listens – I have been forutnate/unfortunate enough to start my service with the USPS in 1998 – year my son finished high school – on to college – president of his fraternity – top of his class, yadda yadda yadda. Single Mom trying to provide, landlord wanted to sell residence, lost my job of 10+ years because I encouraged owner to sell why he could, and found myself at the USPS, working 2nd shift, thursdays off, in an evironment that did not reward job well done, only a supervisor looking out for their best interest. That was 12 years ago and still I go to work every day, waiting for it to be over!! Got an internal “secret shop” today from someone that said I should not offer “parcel post”, half the cost of what they were mailing. Yes a few days longer, but to some people that doesn’t make a difference. MY FIRST PRIORITY is to SUGGEST that they mail it EXPRESS mail! That would be our overnight service, and who does not come to the USPS knowing that they want in there the next day. I lam fortunate enough to live in a community where I was a little leauge mom, a room mother, a cub scout leader, I take pride in my community. My post office does not, nor does it participate in it’s chamber of commerce, or find itself outside of our dwelling trying to sell the products we have to offer. We are surrounded be dead trees, a parking lout in shambles and people complaining about appearance of same. Our montra has become – even though we are now given daily individual revenue goals – to staff our retail on a skeleton crew. Mind you, we are a post office with 13 rural routes getting paid over 50+ plus annually, currently averaging a 5 hour week day and circling many miles around each other. With no one recognizing the fact of the time and waste. Hence, the user name, ASHAMED, to be a part of an entity that doesn’t see the waste. I on the other hand, will go to work tomorrow, understaffed at our window (need to cut those retail hours but up those goals) do my best in a community I love, and try to screw them in buying a service they don’t really want or need in order to keep the good old USPS a float! Will be leaving the WONDERFUL USPS at 56, and not much to show for it, just my health insurance, hoping I can find an environment that brings some joy, as anything has to be better than this!

  3. Pingback: » Blog Archive » U.S. Post office unable to meet payroll by this October??

  4. PhiCrappaZappa on

    Will anyone do a report on the total amount of bonuses given to PO management for their stellar performance? One of our dept. heads got 30K. Imagine idiocy like that nationwide.
    Will anyone report on the costs of the new and exciting machinery being installed nationwide for mail we are told we no longer have?
    Will anyone report on the supposed management reduction in staff? I believe 0 management members will be unable to find a “position”. We’re training new idiot 204b’s all the time.
    APWU doesn’t stand a chance of success when supervisors perform clerk jobs (because the clerks won’t) whilst the clerks sit atop stacks of boxes and watch.
    Management had/has no problem eliminating tour 2 and intentionally destroying as many families and lives as possible – as long as it doesn’t pertain to changing management hours or create any imposition on them.
    You want to fix the PO? Clean the house from the top down. When sloths are subordinate to morons who are subordinate to fools who are subordinate to completely blind idiots, success is improbable.

  5. PhiCrappaZappa on

    Another thought…
    Will anyone do a report on the incredible rise in mail presort facilities? Who owns these facilities? What are their ties to the PO? What are their ties to government?

  6. also wanted to note that postal employees could help as well if they would not file petty grievences so they could get extra money for having to do jobs not in there contract not saying that all of them are petty but alot are

  7. chaz nordstrum on

    Our P& D is being moved to another zip code area. This is total nonsense. When a congressman asked the Postal Mgrs
    how much they expected to save by the move, he replied” I got nuthin”. So I guess Postal Mgrs answer to no one, that is part of the problem. An entire zip code area, 549, will now recieve 2nd class service and the Post Office is raising the price of stamps, so less for more.

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