Here Comes "Going Postal" The Sequel: US Postal Service To Cut 120,000 Jobs To Avoid Bankruptcy

Tyler Durden's picture

That the US postal service is on the verge of bankruptcy is well-known by now and was discussed by Zero Hedge long before it became mainstream news. Furthermore, as we previously noted, the key sticking point in cost reduction negotiations is the labor force compensation (80% of all costs), which is paid an average of $41.15 an hour, and which is over 60% unionized. As of today, we finally welcome the USPS to reality which has announced that, in an attempt to avoid bankruptcy, it is now seeking to reduce its total overhead by 20%, or a whopping 120,000 workers (a number which would amount to roughly an increase of 0.1% in the national unemployment rate). Ah yes, but this is prohibited by existing union contracts. Furthermore, WaPo writes that "SPS also wants to withdraw its employees from the health and retirement plans that cover federal staffers and create its own benefit programs for postal employees." Good luck trying to convince a labor union that cutting an ungodly amount of jobs is for the greater good. Alas, what happened in Greece (and what is about to happen in Italy) will be nothing compared to what will happen when the entire post office goes, well, postal.

This major restructuring of the Postal Service’s relationship with its workforce would need congressional approval and would face fierce opposition from postal unions. But if approved, eliminating contract provisions that prevent layoffs and quitting the federal employee health and retirement programs could have ramifications for workers across the government and throughout the national’s labor movement.


In a notice to employees informing them of its proposals, with the headline “Financial crisis calls for significant actions,” the Postal Service said “we will be insolvent next month due to significant declines in mail volume and retiree health benefit prefunding costs imposed by Congress.”


The Postal Service plan is described in two draft documents obtained by The Washington Post. A “Workforce Optimization” paper acknowledges “that asking Congress to eliminate the layoff protections in our collective bargaining agreements is an extraordinary request by the Postal Service, and we do not make this request lightly. However, exceptional circumstances require exceptional remedies.


“The Postal Service is facing dire economic challenges that threaten its very existence. . . . If the Postal Service was a private sector business, it would have filed for bankruptcy and utilized the reorganization process to restructure its labor agreements to reflect the new financial reality.”

And here are the number that will shortly be repeated ad nauseam on every talk show over the next week:

The USPS says it needs to reduce its workforce by 120,000 career positions by 2015, in addition to the 100,000 it expects through regular attrition. Some of the 120,000 could come through buyouts and other programs, but a significant number likely would be the result of layoffs, if Congress allows the agency to circumvent union contracts.

But what is a labor loving president to do (recall how in the Detroit-3 restructurings, labor unions just incidentally took precedence over secured debt holders):

“Unfortunately, the collective bargaining agreements between the Postal Service and our unionized employees contain layoff restrictions that make it impossible to reduce the size of our workforce by the amount required by 2015,” according to the postal document. “Therefore, a legislative change is needed to eliminate the layoff protections in our collective bargaining agreements.”

Those most likely to suffer yet another political whiplash as a result of this huge dilemma (massive layoffs or no more snail mail) is the democratic party:

How Congress will respond to the postal proposals remains to be seen. Many Republicans, including those who have sponsored legislation that labor considers anti-union, may support the plan. Some Democrats probably would back union opposition. But the Postal Service’s critical financial situation could make Democrats have second thoughts.

Sure enough, the unions wasted no time to craft a response:

American Postal Workers Union President Cliff Guffey said, “The APWU will vehemently oppose any attempt to destroy the collective bargaining rights of postal employees or tamper with our recently-negotiated contract — whether by postal management or members of Congress.”


National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association President Don Cantriel: “We are absolutely opposed” to the layoff proposal. “We are opposed to pulling out of the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program. Our advisers are not advising us at all to even consider it.”


National Association of Letter Carriers President Fredric V. Rolando: “The issues of lay-off protection and health benefits are specifically covered by our contract. . . . The Congress of the United States does not engage in contract negotiations with unions and we do not believe they are about to do so.”

Unfortunately, about 30 years after its inception, the USPS is about to remind America what the source of the "going postal" phrase really is.

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problemfixr's picture

Wow!  Where is everyone?

anynonmous's picture


Stick-On Tattoos Go Electric: Micro-Electronics, Elegant Design and Existing Tattoo Tech Combine to Create Complex Device


as in 666

dwdollar's picture

I was reading about that.  It seems like a lot of hype at this point.  Scientists have a habit of doing that to sucker more venture capital into their money pits.

anynonmous's picture

no question hype

like the foolish bar code hype  of a few decades ago

and all that RFID nonsense /  think about it a tiny chip that can track a product -- clearly the figment of a conspiracy nutter's mind

so the idea of an EES attached to a person is clearly pure science fiction

Richardk888's picture

RFID is a real technology in use today.  I am an RF engineer and can attest to that.  Colleges offer courses devoted solely to this new and upcoming technology.

spdrdr's picture

None too good with sarcasm, hey?

Bananamerican's picture

I'm pre-med in my quest for an Indigent organ harvesting license from the Soylent Corporation....soon i will be at the "cutting edge" of this exciting and lucrative new growth field Richard!!!!!!

Thomas's picture

Speaking of scientists, Pfizer is planning on a 25% researcher layoff this month. In about five years everybody will be asking, "How's that pipeline working' for ya?" The good news is that the Pfizer guys can apply for jobs at the Post Office.

pods's picture

Cousin is a scientist in Groton. Been tough for a couple of years.  Him and his wife are there.  Sweating bullets.

They (Pfizer) bought Wyeth only for their pipeline.  We just hired a scientist who was up in Pearl River.  Said things ain't merry up there.

It is cheaper for them to buyout patents or even smaller pharma than to keep R&D online.  They are fast becoming a hedge fund who sells drugs.


Larry Darrell's picture

THey shoud be careful.  The CIA doesn't like competition in the drug dealing department.


Oh, you mean prescription drugs, nevermind.


Rodent Freikorps's picture

How many drugs has National Healthcare developed?

wisefool's picture

also snark: legumns, coffee and an LLM tax will cure cancer.

The-Dirty-Scurd's picture

Rev 7:3 God's servants sealed in thier forehead. Rev 22:4 his name selaed in thier foreheads. there are otehr sppots of being selaed IN the forehead.

stuff like this rfid and things of this nature are to throw people off of the true mark and meaning. which is easy when we cherry pick, do not seek objectively and study for ourselves(more than a few videos on youtube or article from some person). Just like many believe Obama is the antichrist when in fact he is not. he is A antichrist but not THE antichrist. there are many. but only one head and first of them. it is to throw people off from truth. when satan is put on display for the world and kings to whore after, because he will come and offer to save the world form all these economic turmoils, wars, famines, diseases and disasters, and with his 7 thousand fallen. exalting himself above all. so many will believe the lies and wonders and be selaed in thier forehead and believe he is saviour to this mess and in thier hand because they will do his bidding and work and no one will be able to buy or sell in his system because youll have to worship him and his new system.

this rfid type system  is and has alreayd been used for a long long time. also you cannot buy or sell without dollars or w/e other currency. sure you can trade in stuff for dollars but can you buy gas with a gold coin? anywhere? or do you need w/e reconized currency in that area that some govt printed? already used system. when satan is put on display itll be a new deal. because itll be direct worship of him and his supposed coming with his 7k to save the world and bring peace. part of his doctrine is the fly-away to save your soul stuff as well. when did God ever  need to fly awya his people? sodom people were taken, Lot was left.days of noah, heathens(nephilim as well) were taken, noah was left. many more examples. ones taken in the field will be taken in by lies and the ones left will be left working to tell truth. many are looking to space or alien to bring us in to a new age or w/e and phony churches have been teaching this fly away stuff(fly ot another planet or galaxy or w/e NASA govt funded stuff they have been pushing. like other new age propaganda). not even alien but rapture in general lies. see Ezek ch13 and how God hates fly away to save your soul doctrines. Thess is taken out of context for support of it in most cases and there is a lot lost in translation and transliteration. to much info could go on all day. but enough of my ramblings. best bet if you belive in things like mark of beast and such to pray on it and ask God. if you are true he will help. ask him because we are in very very tricky and deceptive times. for certain men crept in unawares...

sullymandias's picture

Seven thousand words scripted out in rhyme

And I've got some too but in the meantime

I'll step from the flow 'cause that is my way

I know what's when hey what can I say

Escapeclaws's picture

What a great idea, especially for Homeland Security, which will give them a heads up on any potential terrorist activity. I know some of us worry about government intrusion into our lives, but just realize that you have nothing to worry about if you don't break the law.

Abitdodgie's picture

There is over 70,000 laws in America good luck

Shocker's picture

Exactly what I been talking about for a while now. The mess with the economy is not good at all. We need to some serious changes, to get us in the right direction

For a list, its insane

trav7777's picture

look at USPS's employment demographics...does that "look like america"?

the jobs programs (USPS, FNM, FRE, Federal Agencies) that created the artificial black middle class are going to evaporate because the nation can no longer afford this carrying cost and none of the organizations that hired for race reasons have failed to be completely fuckin destroyed by the hiring and promotion policies

israhole's picture

Agian, you're right on the money.

Libertarians for Prosperity's picture

Well, it's not surprising that the bigots begin to slither from their rocks to support Grand Wizard Breivik.

Have you read Breivik's manifesto yet?  Too bad it's 1500 pages.  Maybe Simon and Shuster can call up Palin's ghost writer and make a coloring book version for its intended audience.  Shame for such a sold piece of white supremacy to go to waste.  


Rodent Freikorps's picture

Nice. You want to beat me over the head with Tim McVeigh next?

I don't feel the guilt.

Fuck you for what you are trying to do.

Libertarians for Prosperity's picture


WTF?  Who are you?  This isn't about you, unless you're a bigot, a racist redneck pig or a white supremacist from the bowels of the Confederacy.  Isn't it ironic when people who live such offensive lives, get offended?  *LOL*    

This isn't about guilt; it's about narrow-minded idiocy.  Furthermore, I've never met a doomer libertarian who felt guilt about anything, so I'd never expect it. It's impossible to feel guilt when your cranium has been jet-puffed with White-Trash Marshmallow Fluff.

Saddle up the Camaros, pilgrim!  This redneck done got mad!



Rodent Freikorps's picture


So, the whole Brevik thing was about tarring whites?

Thought so.

Fish somewhere else.

Vic Vinegar's picture

Rodent and Libertarians - you are both some of the better commenters on Zero Hedge.  An afterhours version of SheepDog-One and RobotTrader, perhaps?

Keep in mind there are spacemonkeys out here who enjoy both sides of these comments.

Vic Vinegar's picture

Well  you are one of the better ones, too.  Maybe it's weird to like hearing from all five of you.  So  it goes.

AnAnonymous's picture

Do worse ones exist in your books?

j0nx's picture

LfP: Do you ever post anything relevant here or is it always a race bait with you? Your shit is getting old, particularly with your ironic avatar.

sun tzu's picture

Hitler Nazi Racist Bigot Facist KKK blah blah blah

Abitdodgie's picture

At least Hitler was up for getting gid of Zionist

pods's picture

Is Sac gonna bring that junk button back online?


Prometheus418's picture

So says the guy with the smiley face Hitler avitar.  Troll.

Burnbright's picture

Lib, not to defend Trav but what he said is not racist, it is only racist if you read into what you want to, and it doesn't help that he often does say racist things. However their is nothing wrong with saying that many places like the USPS are failing because of hiring policy, not because of the black demographic.

Highering people because you want to fill some sort of race quota is destined for failure bottom line.

I do find it appalling though that so many people on these message boards are continually blaming black people for society ills, or Jewish people, or whom ever. The real difference between people are in the choices we make and our ideological stances. Sad to see so many people I agree with on other levels stoop low enough to blame an entire culture for something a number of individuals within that culture are doing.

TN Jed's picture



Your fyerd.

Miss anthrope's picture


I am so sorry to spoil your lovely egalitarian dream but I am NOW a racist.  I grew up just like you.  And I have to say that after many years on this earth and after careful consideration of the empirical data, blacks..... on the LARGE majority....... believe they are owed something by the rest of society.  There ARE exceptions of course but I am talking about their ENTIRE CULTURE here.  The entire culture you are defending.  It is so sad to say.  When I was in primary school my best friend was black.  She is now passed away but I grew up truly not knowing or caring about the difference.  But with the years and the wisdom of experience I must say I am now a racist...... sadly.

Absinthe Minded's picture

I understand your feelings. I went to school in a predominantly white school system in the Northeast. There were only a few black kids in my entire school even through high school, but they were good students and friends. I work with a few black people now, they are good co-workers and friends. The crap that's going on in some parts of the country though is disgusting. When people believe they deserve reparations for something my daddy's, daddy's, daddy did, they're just being morons. When Bill Cosby said that black people need to take responsibility of their own lives and stop blaming their shortcomings on being kept down by the white man they accused him of being an Uncle Tom. There are a lot of great black men they can look up to, Colin Powell, Herman Cain, Tiger Woods(oops, strike that) But they get taken in by Al Sharpton and other dopes that think they all deserve a free ride because of something their great grand parents went through.

CompassionateFascist's picture

Read it. He's a judeophile and a rabid Zionist. Fantasized about going back to Germany 1933 in a time machine and killing Hitler. And look who he murdered: white kids at an anti-Israel forum. "Neo-Nazi"? "WN"? More like a Mossad gunsel. Would've made a first-rate P/O hire, tho.

GoldBricker's picture

My theory is that Trav777 is making idiotic replies to his own posts just to make himself look better? Well, he's not going to fool me. Anyone who reads ZH can't stay that stupid; his ruse isn't credible.

This is the fight club, not the group-think faculty club.

SilverRhino's picture

There are 120,000 workers that will NEVER have the same standard of living again.  When was the last time you saw someone with a postal job come into the private sector and do BETTER? 

Then again Trav they may just fire the white folks.

JW n FL's picture

i had tears rolling down my checks!! I was laughing so hard!

dumbass America will be bent over again and again and NO! ONE!! will say anything!

Fucking Cowards!

warchopper's picture

Don't worry. I'm sure the TSA will figure out how to add another 120,000 workers. The TSA, unlike USPS, can't go bankrupt.

Rodent Freikorps's picture

TSA is broke. You didn't hear that from me.

ZeroHour's picture

Maybe not monetary bankrupt but morally bankrupt is almost a given.

Rodent Freikorps's picture

Are you willing to go on record as saying the USPS has become just another Affirmitive Action program?

That would be crazy since it is yet another failed govt. program.

Should we look at the demographics of all the failed govt. programs?

I'm game.