Sen. Carper: Postal Service Needs Freedom To Make Necessary Smart Business Decisions

WASHINGTON – Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), chairman of the Senate subcommittee with oversight authority over the U.S. Postal Service, issued the following statement in support of the Postal Service’s proposals to reduce costs and streamline operations while protecting universal service:

“As Postmaster General Potter pointed out today, the Postal Service will need to make significant, strategic changes to its operations in the coming months and years in order to maintain universal service and to provide the products and services so many Americans depend on.

“In light of the serious financial challenges facing the Postal Service, Postal management must be allowed to make the business decisions they need to stay competitive and viable in the years to come. As we have seen, it is not productive for Congress to act like a 535-member board of directors and constantly second guess these necessary changes.

“The Postmaster General has already shown that by making smart decisions – like last year’s efforts to dramatically cut costs, or the popular flat rate box promotion – the Postal Service can save money and still provide valuable services. These are positive first steps but more work remains to stave off the massive deficits that are projected to bankrupt the Postal Service. Postal management, Postal workers, and consumers will need to work together to implement these common sense measures in order to ensure that the Postal Service remains viable in the 21st Century.

“As the Postal Service embarks on the tough journey ahead, it is imperative that Congress give Postal management the flexibility they need. Too often over the years, Congress has tied the Postal Service’s hands and prevented it from making the smart business decisions needed. For example, we have prevented the Postal Service from realizing the billions in savings projected from the elimination of Saturday delivery – a difficult step, but one that large majorities of postal customers have said they can accept.

“We should also use the current crisis to re-evaluate the commercial and pricing freedoms given to the Postal Service. The law in this area was last updated in 2006, but the days ahead give us another opportunity to make certain that Postal management has all of the tools it needs to respond to the changing needs of the mailing public.

“It is also my hope that today’s sobering news from Postmaster General Potter finally compels my colleagues to act on legislation I’ve introduced to restructure the Postal Service’s unique and aggressive obligation to pre-pay its future retirees health care obligations. These payments are a major reason for the red ink that has covered the Postal Service’s balance sheets.

“Congress can no longer afford to stand in the way of the important – yet difficult – business decisions that the Postal Service must now make. I stand ready to work with my colleagues to help facilitate these important changes.”

5 thoughts on “Sen. Carper: Postal Service Needs Freedom To Make Necessary Smart Business Decisions

  1. a perfect example of bad business decision making: the postmaster of wichita kansas wanted to close two substations both in poor areas of the metro community. for once the local news media got involved and what a rant was created because these two substations would have totally eliminated much of the postal service coverage west of the arkansas river leaving only the delano station and the gmf to handle the overload–f there was continued service.

    because of the public outcry against this decision, the postmaster changed his mind.

    what did he do instead: reduce hours at the gmf where customers could get their mail, buy postage, mail packages, and get passports. the old hours were 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., monday through friday, 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. saturday. the new hours are 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. monday through friday, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. saturday.

    now lets multiply these facts by the 20,000+ postal facilities for these purposes and what would be the result in less service.

    is that how reallll businesses increase their business? by reducing their services and sending their customers to competitors?

    but then the postal service has undereducated, poorly trained, and illogical managers who “look” for the best interest of the postal service.

  2. senator, you haven’t a clue as to how inept postal management is. if anyone thinks usps management (hereinafter known as they) is looking out for the well-being of the service as a business, as a governmental agency, or any other capacity, i have a bridge in new york i will be glad to sell (i live in kansas).

    management without hesitation ignores the apwu contract in its entirety or picks and chooses which parts it wishes to follow. they give 10.5 cents per mail piece discounts to direct mailers while the average citizen who puts the same barcode on a mail piece without receiving any kind of discount. with the growing use of email and other non-postal communication methods, the survival of the usps demands smart managers who know that kicking your employees just because you can isn’t good management. reducing hours without notifying the buying public, as happened here in wichita, does nothing but make people angry and certainly doesn’t encourage them to buy more stamps or to even use the other services offered.

    but, in my humble opinion, congress doesn’t care about the usps any more than they do other vital issues affecting this country.

  3. senator– you don’t seem to have any real idea about what potter and his bloated management staff have done to the USPS system– although they have gutted services, caused huge delays nation wide in delivery times, and reduced the actual work force by 10% , NOT ONE management position has been eliminated ; and the large executive staff has grown dramatically. we have a manager to worker ratio of about 1 to 8 workers — for a number approaching 80k managers — too many ; far more than any other industry. — and they easily receive large annual raises and bonuses for poor performance , while harassing and threatening craft workers and fighting to the death to prevent us from receiving any meager raise –, I suggest you stop listening to potter’s line and actually LOOK into the real workings of what costs in this usps ,

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