By John Greathouse
Editor, The Pacer
National Postal Press Association
American Postal Workers Union
Central Michigan Area Local – Lansing, MI
In 2010 the Postal Service, under the guise of a financial crisis, began with what is best described as a “Fire Sale”! This financial crisis gave them the reason to begin the closing of mail processing facilities and local Post Offices across the nation.
When the country entered the recession in 2008 the Postal Service was experiencing its second year of Congressional “bloodletting”, under the Postal Accountability Enhancement Act (PAEA), requiring the USPS to prefund its retirement funds for the next 75 years at the rate of $5 billion dollars a year. This massive expense in addition to a declining mail volume created the “Perfect Storm” for the Postal Service.
Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe added fuel to the fire by repeating over and over again that First Class Mail volume was declining and that the USPS needed to make cut backs. A great deal of that lost volume was due to him constantly crying “the sky is falling” and driving customers away. He was able to report to Congress that First Class Mail volume had dropped over 20%, thus giving management the excuse to cut almost 60% of the mail process facilities (252) across the country and over 150,000 middle class jobs.