Portland Communities and Postal Workers United contact Jamie
Immediate Release 2/10/15
*Postal Service shows $1.1 billion surplus, yet cuts and closures slated *
The US Postal Service continues to turn a profit for three years in a row,
releasing numbers last Friday showing a $1.1 billion surplus for the first
quarter of fiscal year 2015 and an increase to $7 billion in available cash.
The CFO called it "a fantastic quarter."
This is great news for Americans throughout the country and for the
millions of businesses that rely on a strong Postal Service.
The continuing rise in both letter and package revenue—and now even in
overall mail volume—is leading to growing revenue. This is a time to
strengthen—not degrade—the now-profitable networks.
Nevertheless, massive cuts and closures of post offices and mail processing
plants continue. As of Feb. 6th, the USPS POStplan has eliminated 13,000
full-time postmaster jobs in the past two years, as a result of cuts of 25%
to 75% in hours of service at half our rural post offices. Tens of
thousands of mail processing jobs have also gone away as 141 plants were
"consolidated," resulting in mail delays.
The Postmaster General ordered the USPS to lower "service standards" on
January 5th, to virtually eliminate overnight delivery - including
first-class mail from one address to another within the same city or town. All
mail (letters, periodicals, packages) throughout the country is now being
delayed. Eighty-two mail processing plants, half of those remaining, will
be closed during 2015, including those in Springfield, Pendleton, and Bend,
"These cuts will cause hardships for customers - especially the elderly,
disabled, rural, and small business customers-- drive away business, and
cause irreparable harm to the U. S. Postal Service," said Rev. Schwiebert,
a leader of Portland Communities and Postal Workers United. He called the
changes part of USPS management's "flawed" strategy to sacrifice service
without addressing the Postal Service's manufactured debt crisis.
Postal management says these cuts and closures are necessary because the
USPS is losing money. Critics claim that a 2006 Congressional mandate,
which forces the U.S. Postal Service to prefund retiree health benefits 75
years in advance, has created a phony financial crisis. Although the USPS
has claimed a "loss" every year since 2006, due primarily to the pre-fund
mandate, the postal service has not made an actual payment toward
prefunding since 2011.