United States Postal Service Bankruptcy

By: Timothy McFarlin | Published: September 7th, 2011 | Category: Bankruptcy

No matter what the treacherous weather conditions may be, the United States Postal Service always manages to deliver our mail in a timely manner. So, what could possibly stop the U.S. Postal Service from making deliveries? Bankruptcy.

Why is the U.S. Postal Service in such bad shaped financially? Times have changes, and emails have almost completely replaced letters. Private competitors UPS and Fedex do not offer their employees the kind of generous health benefits that the U.S. Postal Service does. Labor represents 80 percent of the USPS’ expenses, compared with 53 percent at United Parcel Service (UPS) and 32 percent at FedEx. Rumors about the dire financial state of the U.S. Postal Service have been running ramped for some time now, but now they are coming out with it, and asking the Congress for assistance.

“Our situation is extremely serious,” the postmaster general, Patrick R. Donahoe, said. “If Congress doesn’t act, we will default.”

Republican Rep. Darrell Issa launched the website SavingthePostalService.com to display in detail the problems facing the U.S. Postal Service and to count down to the agency’s default.

The Times writes, the Postal Service “may have to shut down entirely this winter unless congress takes emergency action to stabilize its finances.” There is growing concern that the agency will be unable to make its $5.5 billion payment this month for retirees’ health care plans. Although that may seem bad enough, there is also concern that unless something is done soon, the USPS will not have enough money to pay labor costs early next year. This could force the agency that employs nearly half a million Americans to come to a halt all together.

Congress is considering a number of proposals to help the USPS stay afloat. Although, the assistance Congress could put a Band-Aid on the agency’s current financial problems, the real solution seems to be, that the USPS needs to increase their revenue. The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee is holding a hearing to discuss the matter with postmaster general, Patrick R. Donahoe, along with other union leaders, to get suggestions on how the Postal Service could be rescued. Some postal workers are concerned that the widespread partisanship in Washington could prevent lawmakers from acting. President of the National Association of Letter Carriers, Fredric V. Rolando warned of disaster if partisanship keeps Congress from acting.

“This is about one of America’s oldest institutions.” “It survived the telegraph, it survived the telephone, and we have to do everything we can to preserve it and adapt,” said Rolando.

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