According to documents obtained by CNNMoney, the United States Postal Service is asking Congress to remove collective bargaining restrictions so they can lay off 120,000 workers as well as replace existing government health care and retirement plans. The post office claims it needs to eliminate 220,000 positions, or more than 30% of its staff by 2015, but only 100,000 of those positions can be made through attrition. The other 120,000 must come from lay offs, according to the documents.
“To restore the Postal Service to financial viability, it is imperative that we have the ability to reduce our workforce rapidly,” the USPS wrote.
The USPS also wants Congress to change legislation that requires postal workers to get federal health care and retirement benefits. The Postal Service would instead provide workers with it’s own benefit plans. Currently, postal employees participate in the Federal Employees Health Benefits program, the Civil Service Retirement System and the Federal Employees Retirement System. If given congressional approval, the Post Office would replace those with new plans that would save money, while offering comparable benefits to employees, according to the documents.
“The Postal Service is facing dire economic challenges that threaten its very existence and, therefore, threaten the livelihoods of our employees and the businesses and employees in the broader postal industry and overall economy” a document on workforce reduction said.
USPS mail volume declined 20% in the four year period through fiscal year 2010 resulting in net losses of over $20 billion.
The USPS warns that the organization “facing the equivalent of Chapter 11 bankruptcy.” and will be insolvent next month.
“As we continue to review our volume, revenue and financial projections for fiscal years 2012 through 2015, it has become apparent that our financial situation is becoming even more precarious.”