The National Association of Letter Carriers announced today that it is hiring the Lazard Group investment bank, along with former presidential adviser Ron Bloom, to help develop “a viable long-term, pro-growth business plan for the Postal
Service,” according to a news release.
Bloom, who also comes out of the financial sector, is no stranger to troubled enterprises, having worked as President Obama’s “car czar” during the bailout of the auto industry. He went on to serve as assistant to the president for manufacturing policy, but recently left his White House post for family reasons, according to news reports.
Bloom also has long-standing ties to the United Steelworkers. While Lazard and organized labor might look like an odder fit, NALC President Fredric Rolando said that the union has had some prior dealings with Lazard and liked what it had done.
In a conference call with reporters, Rolando made clear that the overall goal is to come up with a bullish alternative to the cost-cutting agenda–such as eliminating most Saturday delivery–that the Postal Service is pursuing to deal with a plunge in revenue. Not clear, however, is precisely what Lazard and Bloom are supposed to produce (a report, legislative proposals?), how quickly they might produce it and how much it will cost the union.
“I really couldn’t tell you exactly how this is going to unfold yet,” Rolando said. The move was announced during a national NALC conference on the Postal Service’s financial crisis. The mail carrier’s other three unions are not involved.