The United States Postal Service is attempting to solve their growing debt crisis and now the organization hopes to cut 120,000 jobs, an amount equal to 20% of their workforce, while also eliminating federal health and pension plans, forcing employees to pay for those benefits like the general population through a new USPS benefits program, a plan that would save tax payers hundreds of millions each year.
Since the program would require layoffs to workers who are currently protected by union contracts the move requires approval of Congress.
Speaking to employees USPS executives said:
“We will be insolvent next month due to significant declines in mail volume and retiree health benefit prefunding costs imposed by Congress.”
In their proposal USPS told Congress:
“We do not make this request lightly,” while adding, “However, exceptional circumstances require exceptional remedies.”
According to the mail courier they must cut the jobs by 2015.
Not surprisingly the American Postal Workers Union says its members “vehemently oppose any attempt to destroy the collective bargaining rights of postal employees.”
At this time it’s not clear which jobs at USPS would be targeted, however the company will likely start by removing employees in certain areas where mail service can be consolidated into mail hubs for smaller towns and cities as we recently witnessed with various USPS office closings around the country.
USPS says they can’t afford to pay $5.5 billion to cover future employee health care costs, a payment that is due by Sept. 30. They are the only agency required to make such payments to the Federal program.
Employee funded 401k’s, employee paid health care, that doesn’t sound like too much to ask, millions of people pay into those exact type of programs every day.