The needler in the haystack.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Postal Service woes impact Plainfield further


Vague but ominous USPS postal card arrived Wednesday.
The Postal Service's continued woes will impact Plainfield further.

Saying it 'will be insolvent next month' the USPS yesterday afternoon proposed laying off 120,000 postal workers -- a fifth of its workforce -- and breaking existing contracts to withdraw from the Federal healthcare plan to which employees and retirees currently belong (see Washington Post story here).

This explains the somewhat mysterious postcard Plainfield postal patrons have been receiving over the past few days, pictured at top of this post. The notice explains that delivery patterns will change, but it came well in advance of the bombshell notice dropped by the USPS yesterday. Translation: The Postal Service will be laying off Plainfield postal workers.

All of this comes on top of news from late last month that the Plainfield area is slated to lose three stations: Muhlenberg, Netherwood and North Plainfield (see my post here).

The Washington Post obtained copies of two Postal Service documents -- one on 'workforce optimization' (see here) and another on 'health and retirement benefits' (see here) -- which it has posted online.

The unions have protested sharply. The USPS proposals need Congressional approval. House approval may be almost certain, given Republican dominance, but even there representatives may fear local backlashes; the Senate is far less likely to go along without changes.

Whatever the outcome, it is clear that the storied United States postal system is in serious trouble, succumbing on the one hand to competitors like UPS and FedEx who have eaten its overnight package services lunch, and on the other hand by the Internet, where email and electronic documents have cut sharply into the volume of paper documents in the mail stream.

For myself, I stubbornly insist on paying my monthly bills by check and mail, as well as my (shrunken) holiday card list.

My stepmother, never a Luddite, does all her bills and correspondence by email -- including my birthday card.

And there you have it.



-- Dan Damon [follow]

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5 comments:

olddoc said...

I have expressed in recent blogs my opinions on ill advised reliance on the safety of the electronic media. I too like to pay my bills by snail mail.

The package services to often leave parcels in exposed unprotected areas that one does not usually associate with deliveries. Unfortunately one of our recent postmen has adopted a policy of saving 5 steps and not coming to the front door.

Anonymous said...

Since the Post Office delivers stuff, and the online buying market is busting, it makes you wonder what the leadership didn't get in following UPS etc to share in the delivery market.

Rob said...

you missed laying a healthy, hearty level of blame squarely at Congress... ( BOTH PARTIES you knee jerk liberals and tea party freaks ) for robbing so much money from the Postal Workers amongst other things..

Anonymous said...

The Postal Service is living in the past. Your comment about congressional oversight speaks volumes as to why efficient organizations can not exist with government meddling. UPS and FedEx could never have come into existence had the Postal Service been a well run and up todate organization. When it comes to basic mail delivery, most of these small satelite offices should be closed. Lets face facts, at Christmas if you have packages to send going to the UPS or FedEx store is a much more user friendly experience and in most cases less costly.
Both business and consumers will adapt to whatever cost effective changes the Postal Service introduces. Lets hope that politicians stay away and accept what those who are in charge think is best.

Michael Townley said...

We received a similar postcard a few weeks ago, just after our carrier told me that many of them were being assigned new or re-aligned routes, getting different days off, etc. We still have the same carrier, but his route did change and his delivery time changed as well. As people leave, those remaining are apparently being told to take on more customers.