The Guide To America's Mailstream
retirement : Postal2020.com
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All Posts Tagged With: "retirement"

Would 40,000 Fewer Postal Jobs Be A Good Thing?

Would 40,000 Fewer Postal Jobs Be A Good Thing?In Shreveport, LA, television station KSLA is reporting that as many as 40,000 postal employees could lose their jobs.

“Lavelle Pepper with the post office in Shreveport says they too are feeling the affects of the same disease hitting the country… a struggling economy. ‘We employ about 685,000 people. If we do layoffs it would include clerks, carriers, mail handlers across all crafts.’”

“Pepper says the postal service is looking to eliminate 40,000 jobs nationwide. There’s not an exact number on how many of those could be from the Ark-La-Tex. Pepper says workers who are not part of union with six or less years of service would likely be the first on the chopping block. ‘We’ve identified 16 thousand people that are not covered under contract. We’ll see what those numbers add up to.’”

Meanwhile, on the usually well-regarded Mish’s Global Economic Trend Analysis, blogger Mish Shedlock mentions the story and then comments “I certainly am in favor of this.”

Really? I certainly am not.

How is anyone helped by the loss of 40,000 postal jobs? Or 40,000 jobs in any field? How is the country made better?

If 40,000 people lose their jobs that means a lot of local communities will see an increase in unemployment costs and foreclosures. A lot of households and families will suffer. Home values — even for Mish’s home — will fall as the inventory of locally-foreclosed properties increases. There will be fewer people to pay taxes meaning higher taxes for those who do pay or reduced public services.

And no, people cannot just be instantly retrained.

We have to change the way we think. Given that two-thirds of our economy is based on consumer spending we ought to hope that everyone has a job and that everyone has access to education and training so they can get a better job. Alternatively, if we favor lots and lots of job losses we’ll soon have an economy where most of the population will live in poverty or something close to it. That sure doesn’t sound like fun and anyone who has been to a poor country would agree.

Until this point the Postal Service has generally reduced its workforce through attrition and retirements — in other words, without layoffs. The Federal Times has reported that this policy MAY change with the elimination of 250 jobs at headquarters.

Moreover, in July the Postal Service sought a Voluntary Early Retirement Authority (VERA) from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). Note the expression Voluntary Early Retirement. Not lay-offs. Not firings. Rather a continuation of past policies.

There is a huge difference between 40,000 voluntary separations and a reported 250 lay-offs. This is not to say that 250 job losses are somehow good, but rather that no one is thinking in terms of 40,000 lay-offs.

Indeed, the Postal Service has just issued this statement:

“A news story currently in wide circulation is reporting that the Postal Service will soon layoff 40,000 employees. This story is not accurate. Originating out of Shreveport, LA, the story does quote a Postal Service spokesperson. Unfortunately, that spokesperson was in error. The Postal Service is not laying off employees. Efforts to match our workforce to a reduced workload are focused on voluntary early retirements. Voluntary early retirement has been offered to a number of employees and to date, 3,685 employees have accepted the offer.”