Saturday, October 04, 2008

Post Office Considers Laying Off Workers

Columnist Joe Davidson writes in the Washington Post, "Here's another sad sign of our economic times: Never before has the U.S. Postal Service laid off workers. Now, it's a real possibility."

American Postal Workers Union President William Burris is quoted in the article as saying,"...for the first time in postal history, the losses cannot be recovered by postage rate increases."

Davidson points out rates can't be raised because the law allows increases only under certain circumstances. One is a substantial jump in mail volume. "Not likely," pens Davidson.

Significant productivity improvement is another reason, but Burris said "regrettably, there are no prospects" for that.

The third situation allowing postage increases is the exigency clause, which Burris said, "offers an exception to the law's prohibition against increasing postage rates above the rate of inflation; it permits such increases in 'extraordinary or exceptional' circumstances."

But raising postal rates in this electronic age could be counterproductive.

"Industry observers suggest that if postage rates rise too sharply, major mailers would abandon hard-copy communication in favor of e-mail and other technologies," Burris is quoted as saying.

To read Davidson's entire column, click here.

Shown above, the cover to Laid Off, NOW WHAT? Surviving Unemployment Financially, Psychologically and The Trade Secrets to Landing a job
by Laura Dawn Lewis.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM