“Headlines across the country are shouting that the USPS lost billions of dollars again this year, but that’s a fallacy,” APWU President Mark Dimondstein said after the USPS released financial information for fiscal year 2013.
“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.” No other government agency or private company is required to make such payments, which cost the agency approximately $5.5 billion annually.
“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.
The recent USPS agreement to deliver Amazon’s packages on Sundays is a good example, Dimondstein said, but the Postal Service must do more.
“The USPS should offer basic banking 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,” he said. “This would give the working poor an alternative to the legal loan-sharking they are now victimized by. It also would provide another source of revenue. The Postal Service also should offer notary services and licensing.” There are many other examples, he said.
“Unfortunately, there are some in Congress who want the Postal Service to fail. They are eager to privatize it,” Dimondstein.
But the American people don’t agree. Dimondstein is calling for a “grand alliance” to save the USPS as a public postal service and to protect postal jobs.