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Obama Endorses Caving To Postal Unions

From a gleeful Associated Press:

Obama endorses ending 1 day of mail delivery

September 20, 2011

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says the U.S. Postal Service should be allowed to reduce mail delivery to five days a week to help cut its massive losses.

The king has decreed. After all, those poor postal workers must be plain tuckered out. Naturally, this extra day off won’t mean any reduction in salaries for its union workers. Or any reduction in their gold plated healthcare benefits or pensions.

The Postal Service lost $8.5 billion last year and is facing even more red ink this year as the Internet siphons off large amounts of first-class mail and the weak economy reduces advertising mail.

Actually, real and welcome reform would entail getting rid of advertising mail junk mail. But that apparently would never occur to anyone.

While the post office has cut more than 100,000 workers in the last few years it needs to cut more, close offices and find other ways to reduce costs to keep operating.

Note that the Post Office has somehow managed to cut more than 100,000 workers without any discernable reduction in ‘service.’ What does that tell you?

In his economic growth and debt reduction plan unveiled Monday, Obama endorsed the idea of dropping one day of mail delivery – it is expected to be Saturday – and urged other changes in postal operations.

Actually, this is still part of Mr. Obama’s historic jobs plan. And what says ‘jobs’ like cutting a postal delivery day for the first time in its history?

He agreed that nearly $7 billion the post office has overpaid into the federal retirement system should be refunded to the agency, urged that its payments for advance funding of retiree medical benefits be restructured

Because, lord knows, we don’t want to make any public sector unions have to be responsible about their pensions. (See below.)

[A]nd said the post office should be allowed to sell non-postal products and raise postage rates. Currently the post office cannot raise rates more than the amount of inflation

Huh. It seems to us that Post Office rates have gone up several times over the last few years. For instance, the price for First-Class letter additional ounces (for letters over 1 ounce) increased from 17 to 20 cents in April 2011. Meanwhile, we are told by the government that there has not been any inflation.

By the way, it’s probably just a coincidence, but Mr. Obama hereby signing on to everything that the Postal Service workers unions have been pushing for.

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., who has his own postal reform bill in the House, responded that "the president’s proposal is not what taxpayers or the Postal Service needs." He asserted that Obama’s plan "will certainly cost taxpayers money."

In a contest between taxpayers and union members, the union members are going to win Mr. Obama’s heart every time. After all, they are the Democrat Party’s most dependable voters, after blacks.

From the Fox News affiliate in Kansas City, WDAF:

Postal Workers: We’re Not Looking for a Government Bailout

By Mary Pulley
September 16, 2011

KANSAS CITY, Mo.—The U.S. Postal Service announced this week that hundreds of postal processing centers could close as the service looks to save billions of dollars in an effort to stay afloat, while some people are calling for a bailout of the service. But some local postal officials and union leaders say that a bailout really isn’t necessary to save the U.S. Postal Service.

"[W]e’re a part of American history, and we should continue to be that," said Sharon al-Uqdah, president of American Postal Workers Union 67, of the U.S. Postal Service… She says that postal workers aren’t looking for a government handout to survive.

Instead, they are asking local representatives to support a bill now going through the U.S. House that would change a mandate that went into effect in 2007 requiring the U.S. Postal Service to pre-fund billions of dollars for future retirees up to 75 years in the future.

"We’re not asking for a bailout. We’re saying stop requiring us to prefund at an unreasonable rate. When that’s done, that will begin to fix the financial problem for the post office," said al-Uqdah

The House bill would allow the USPS to access those funds to fix its financial problems, and al-Uqdah says that it could also keep thousands of post offices open and hundreds of thousands of postal workers on the job.

But not everyone agrees. Republican congressman Darrell Issa of California has sponsored a resolution that postal workers say would not address the overpayment, but instead calls for billions of dollars in facility closures and job cuts.

In other words, the unions want to raid their own pension funds. And why not? What could possibly go wrong?

It’s not like the Post Office will demand a taxpayer bailout when they can’t cover their retirees lavish pensions.

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, September 20th, 2011. Comments are currently closed.

4 Responses to “Obama Endorses Caving To Postal Unions”

  1. Right of the People says:

    If I knew that it would get rid of most of the mooches I’d be fine with mail delivery two times a week. It’s gotten to the point where I sort my mail outside and walk directly to the trash bin for all the junk mail. I have all of my bills come electronically, don’t get any magazines and pay all of my bills online so except for birthday/anniversary cards and the like, we don’t get any pertinent mail. We get tons of mail, just nothing we want so if they only delivered once a week it would make it much easier. Unfortunately with the threat of identity theft being so real, you can’t just throw out what you know is junk mail. You have to open the crap, remove your name and address and shred them then toss the rest aside. I don’t enjoy killing trees and that’s all this crap does.

    As with all union run functions, the pensions that the post office workers get are outrageous. The post office, Amtrak, Conrail, you name it, when you let a privately owned company run a government agency you get the worst of both worlds. Inefficient workers you can’t fire and have to pay ridiculous salaries and benefits to. YECH!

  2. untrainable says:

    If the postal service would simply charge the same postal rates to those purveyors of junk mail that they charge the rest of us… problem solved. The amount of mail being delivered would drop dramatically becuase the junkers won’t pay regular rates, and those that will pay will finally be paying for the service that they have been getting all these years. FAIRNESS! right?

    With the volume decreased, they should be able to deliver effectively with fewer workers. With fewer workers, the Post Office could become solvent.


  3. proreason says:

    Let homeowners select the days when they get mail delivered. (we don’t even open the mailbox a lot of days…never nuthin there but bills and junk. Anybody we want to hear from uses the phone or email.)

    The workforce could be cut in half.

    Then they would only be overstaffed by 200%.

  4. Mithrandir says:

    DEMAND REDUCTION OF JUNK MAIL! –about 50% of my mail is totally unnecessary or worthless.

    Unsolicited mail ought to be charged $5 per item.

    Encourage people to pay bills online, reducing the amount of mail, and therefore mail carriers.

    ELIMINATE FOREIGN AID. The billions saved could help all sorts of American causes, including the post office.

    DEMAND that public workers invest in their own retirement.

    GET RID of all the top-heavy salaries. If you are 8 billion in debt, your expensive managers and CEOs are not worth whatever we are paying them.

    Perhaps packages should be sent by private companies, and letters only delivered by USPS?

    I have solutions to every problem we have….just give me a chance!

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