Multiple reports from sources covering the activities of the United States’ Federal government, including Federal Times and The Hill, report politicians are paying more attention to the plight of the United States Postal Service (USPS), which continues to forge ahead with massive cuts.
Lawmakers, according to Federal Times, are currently trying to limit postal-service cuts, but the USPS still plans to reduce its workforce by up to 15,000 more employees and close up to 82 more processing centres over the next year. USPS, which closed 141 processing facilities in 2012 and 2013, estimates it could save $750 million annually from its new round of planned cuts.
The Hill, meanwhile, reports Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a democrat from Nevada, joined the effort to block the USPS from making its next round of large-scale cuts. The Hill suggests Reid’s involvement increases the odds of a congressional debate over postal reform sometime this month.
In mid-August, USPS reported its third quarter results (ended the June 30, 2014) with a net loss of US$2 billion, compared to a net loss of US$740 million for the same period last year. The USPS has recorded a loss in 21 of the last 23 quarters — the excepted quarters being the two in which Congress rescheduled the Retiree Health Benefits prefunding payments.
Third-quarter revenue improved, according the USPS, as a result of its January mail price increase, sales and marketing initiatives, and a growing package business. Total operating revenue for the third quarter of US$16.5 billion increased by US$327 million, or two percent.
USPS’ shipping and package revenue was up 6.6 percent for the third quarter, while Standard Mail revenue was up 5.1 percent, driven by a 0.9 percent increase in volume and the January 2014 price increase. First-Class Mail volume was down 1.4 percent.
Joseph Corbett, Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President of the USPS, stated the organization will be unable to make the required US$5.7 billion retiree health benefit prefunding payment to the U.S. Treasury, due by September 30, 2014.
“Due to continued losses and low levels of liquidity, we’ve been extremely conservative with our capital, spending only what is deemed essential to maintain existing infrastructure,” said Corbett. “To continue to provide world-class service and remain competitive, we must invest up to $10 billion to replace our aging vehicle fleet, purchase additional package sorting equipment, and make necessary upgrades to our infrastructure.”
Federal Times article
The Hill article