USPS Announces $5 Billion Loss; Unions Point Out Actual $623 Million Operating Profit

600-million-in-2013The U.S. Postal Service on Friday announced its year-end results for Fiscal Year 2013, citing a loss of $5 billion. Two major postal unions were the first to point out that the Postal Service actually made a profit on its operations.

Headlines across the country are shouting that the USPS lost billions of dollars again this year, but that’s a fallacy,” American Postal Workers Union President Mark Dimondstein said. “If it weren’t for the congressional mandate to pre-fund health benefits for future retirees, the USPS would have shown a surplus of $600 million.” Fredric Rolando, president of the National Association of Letter Carriers noted that “This mandate—a political requirement placed on no other agency or company in the country—cost $5.6 billion.”

The Postal Service has used its financial crisis to justify service changes which have affected Washington residents. The closure of mail processing in Everett, Olympia, and Pasco earlier this year have brought reports of delayed mail. The Postal Service plans to shutter mail processing in Tacoma and Wenatchee in February, 2014, and officially switch to a slower delivery schedule for first-class mail. Rural post offices throughout the state are seeing drastic cuts in lobby hours, and urban patrons have seen postal stations moved from downtown to less convenient areas, as occurred in Redmond , and is planned for Bellevue and Wenatchee.

The postal release highlighted “revenue growth and record productivity,” but continued the call for service cuts for patrons and benefit cuts for employees.

“The USPS is suffering from a manufactured crisis,” Dimondstein said. “But the fallout of the artificial crisis is real. Service has declined dramatically — mail takes days longer to arrive, carriers are delivering mail in the dark, lines at post offices are out the door – and good, union postal jobs are disappearing,” he said. “The solution is clear: Congress must repeal the pre-funding mandate and allow the Postal Service to develop new services that will provide new revenue,” the union president said. He cited basic banking as an example of a new service “ to the millions of Americans who want a non-profit alternative to the big banks or who don’t have bank accounts at all.”

Rolando stated: Now it’s time for Congress to set aside bills that focus on cutting service and attacking the pay and benefits of postal workers instead of addressing the real cause of the crisis: the 2006 pre-funding mandate. The Postal Service is positioned for a strong comeback if lawmakers act sensibly—by addressing the pre-funding fiasco that created an artificial financial crisis…”

Clint Burelson, former president of the APWU’s Olympia local, has noted in a policy paper, “The damaging changes underway at the Post Office are a direct result of the lobbying efforts of large corporate mailers who do not want to lose their deep discounts and pay their fair share of postage. To avoid higher postage rates for advertising, the large mailers have relentlessly pushed the Postal Service to cut costs by reducing postal services to the American people”[The Battle for the Post Office and Democracy].

Dimondstein stated that “Unfortunately, there are some in Congress who want the Postal Service to fail. They are eager to privatize it.”

Both Burelson and Dimondstein are both newly elected to national office in the APWU, as part of a slate that campaigned for a more activist union. Assuming office November 7, Dimondstein issued a call for “a grand alliance between the people of this country and postal workers…in defense of America’s right to vibrant public postal services.”

source: David Yao

13 thoughts on “USPS Announces $5 Billion Loss; Unions Point Out Actual $623 Million Operating Profit

  1. While both parties are guilty of dropping the ball on postal matters, only one party is driving the USPS over the cliff. And the biggest prize on the agenda? Privatizing for UPS/FedEx? Taking down one of the largest unions in the nation? Dismantling the collective bargaining process forever? All strong Republican positions, but secondary.

    The single biggest,(and least talked about option), is voter suppression. Washington and Oregon,(traditionally Democratic leaning states), are complete vote-by-mail states. Most, if not all states have mail in voting for absentee reasons; military, elderly, working abroad, et cetera.

    With an increasingly shrinking demographic due to poor policy, the Republican Party has been restricting voting laws across the country in a vast majority of states. By constantly applying pressure to dismantle the postal service, the Republicans can further skewer the vote in an attempt to stay in power.

    As usual, the Democrats play willing dupes, using our industry as a trade off to further their own gains in other areas. But of all the voter suppression tactics going on,(research your own state for proposed changes in election laws this century), eliminating the USPS will reap the biggest reward.

    When Republican policies place them squarely in the minority, AND the demographic of a growing population is favoring Democrats, Republicans HAVE TO reduce the vote by gerrymandering districts, making it harder to cast a ballot, and working to deny large groups of traditionally Democratic voters the right to vote. Privatizing the postal services accomplishes all of this nation wide.

    And last but not least, the Republican Party likes to wrap itself in the flag and claim all things patriotic. Except when it comes to veterans working in the USPS. The postal service is the LARGEST employer of veterans in the country. Veterans get bonus points on test scores to help gain employment after serving on active duty. But NOTHING stands in the way when Republicans scheme to stay in power. Not even the military they claim to support.

  2. The cutbacks in service began long before we started to lose out on 1st class. So you mail in a bill. Oh wow! They moved my mailbox to another neighborhood. Then, It gets there a day late. You get banged a $30 late fee. Next month you look into online banking. Hey it’s free! Next month you try it and save $30 + 46 cents.
    Thats how we roll. make it harder, when everybody else is making it easier.

  3. Plant closings makes no cents as end results is a delay in delivery time of products. Closing small suburban, once rural in past time history, would eliminate a wasted cost as most of these offices maintain existence as a result of political influence and not any public need for postal services. Cost effective plant operations is the life force for maintain a postal system. Marketing efforts should be directed to parcel delivery as shopping trends are moving to online shopping rather than physically being in shop. Eliminate wasted postal cost and create revenue by providing customer services in demand and not historical political BS which has no relevance. Face reality political havoc is creating wasted spending creating massive dollar loss as reflected in 6 day street delivery of waste and not communications. Parcel delivery makes cents when handled cost effective. Junk mail is a loss when handled as priority mail.

  4. The post office will not survive until 2016. I worked at the Everett P&DF and have seen first hand what happenes when a processing plant is shutdown. The untruths, misdirection and constant changing of whats happening by management to scare employees into taking carrier bids or leaving. The people of Snohomish county have paid a very heavy price by their mail being delayed up to 8 plus days. A letter from one city to another that should take a day can take up to 8 days to be delievered. If other plants in the area are shutdown the delay of mail will be so damaging to this area. Management is getting promotions out of shutdowns. The people who use the mail are not getting their money’s worth will leave using the internet UPS or FedEx. The employee’s who work to deliever the mail will loose jobs, pay, forced to relocate in a economy that is still suffering or will have to drive considerable milage just to keep their job. This must stop or we all will suffer.

  5. What first class mail are they talking about that is being delayed???? ALL WE DELIVER IS ADVERTISEMENTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Congress is responsible for starting this mess. Most of us agree on this. Congress is made up of the two parties that have brought us here, the democratic party and the republican party. Unions like to act like the democrats are our saviors, but they don’t do anything for the unions anymore except “blow smoke.” These two political parties have become guardians/watchdogs of their own “lands and titles” and left the rest of us to squabble over the scraps. They impose restrictive rules, regulations, policies, and programs on the rest of us, reducing our individual liberties and freedoms, while exempting themselves from these burdens. These two parties even manipulate election and voting laws so other political parties (third parties) can’t get their feet in the door. These third parties must spend much of their time and resources in court fighting just to get their candidates on the ballots (time-and-time again in case you haven’t been paying attention). Until many more people begin supporting these other political parties don’t expect much to change. After-all, the way things stand now for the democrats and republicans, it’s always the other parties fault (sound familiar?) and each party is always taking home on average about 50% of the take!

  7. Yes, the overfunding of retiree’s health benefits is a major problem. But what really needs to be address next is legislature that will stop the unnecessary dismantling of the postal service distribution system as many as mentioned. As soon as profitability is resolved we need to concentrate on converting the forever casuals to career status. Restore economic status.

  8. Pay for performance. Management Bullies and Union Top Dogs
    barking for monetary reward. Craft workers pushed to breaking point. Steps should be taken to submit retirement
    paperwork for workers who retired 4-5 years ago but have not left the worksite.

  9. Well we are in the same business as UPS and FedEx !$$$$$# revenues are up and so is growth!Its clearly that Management and Congress can’t be Trusted! Need to put it clear through the radio and media its all games!

  10. This is precisely why congress refuses to act to solve the “crisis”. In reality, they know it’s not a crisis at all and therefore will continue to postpone action until the mandate expires in 2016, and all will be well again. Of course by then the damage will have already been done as far as reduced service standards, part-time work force, cuts to retirement and other benefits, etc. then they will claim that these cuts are the reason the usps is suddenly back in the black again and ignore the fact that the mandate had expired.

  11. Until these numbers are verified from an independent audit, they are worthless, especially coming from the like of USPS mgmt, who are chronic liars.

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