Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe on Saving the USPS

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

In a Senate hearing yesterday, Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe called for Congress to take action to help the U.S. Postal Service pay its bills and avoid defaulting. In his testimony, Donahoe proposed cutting more than 120,000 jobs, closing 300 out of 500 processing centers and thousands of post offices around the country, and eliminating Saturday mail delivery. The Obama administration has proposed giving the USPS an extra three months to make a $5.5 billion payment due on Sept. 30.

Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe talks about his vision for a smaller, financially solvent United States Postal Service.

Comments [15]

Simon Stern from Teasy,WV

To solve the postal problems is very simple.They should not have to pre-pay retirement.Currently there is a multi billion dollar surplus in this area,all that needs to be done is a congressional vote.They could also place a moratorium on "bonuses" until the post office is financially solvent.Congress loved to make an example of auto maker CEOs,why don't they do the same in this instance?Oh wait I almost forgot it would show even more fleecing of america.

Dec. 17 2011 09:05 PM

A neighbor worked as a contract carrier in a rural area for awhile, and the stress because of the sort of thing Jim mentions was just amazing. Very poor management throughout the system and implementing corporate 'slash and burn' policies instead of coming up with real solutions. No wonder the USPS is going bankrupt.

Dec. 05 2011 09:31 AM
Jeff from Florida

To Ira: I am 57, and have been with the Postal Service for 25 years. Now I don't have a Bachelor's degree, but I can say that I have watched the Postal Service go from a company that delivered mail to a micro-managed, number-crunching bureaucracy that drives it's employees with intimidation tactics and assigns carriers too much work to the point where they can't afford to take care when delivering the mail. All they have time to worry about is that they will complete their assignment and return to their office by the unreasonable deadline placed on them by their supervisor. A supervisor who receives a bonus based on employee performance. (i.e. more mail delivered in less time.) I am looked at with disdain by my managers because I take the time to serve my customers in a way that I feel they deserve. I am not the only carrier who does the job the way it was intended to be done.

Nov. 30 2011 09:00 PM
Jim from Alabama

May I suggest raising the cost to advertisers? I am paying over $100 a year for a PO Box just so that advertisers can fill it up. Additionally, advertisers cause a mail delivery person to have to stop at every address on their route. The poor Joe who is just trying to pay a bill should not have to carry the burden for advertisers. Advertiser publications are heavy. Just look at those yellow-page deliveries.
So let us pass the cost on to the advertisers where it is fair. They use the most capacity and resources of the USPS anyway. Further, they can easily pass on their costs to the consumers where cost will enter the normal competitive modes.
What do you think, Mr. Postmaster?

Oct. 18 2011 07:03 PM
Valerie from Apache Junction, AZ

I am a retired ordinary American who waits for my mail lady to deliver my mail every day.

I have a great idea that may help the Post Office from going under but I don't know who to contact to suggest my idea.

Maybe if Congress would ASK the American common folks what their ideas are we might all be able to solve this country's woes!

My idea is this...the Post Office gives out a variety of white shipping boxes FREE. Why not have corporate sponsors buy advertising space on those FREE boxes. Hasn't everyone seen all the major corporations advertising in every sports area. Every time you watch a sports on TV your eyes are immediately drawn to such ads. Not only would this bring in great revenue for the Post Office, but it will also increase the job market by having to hire sales personnel to go and sell the ads.

Now another idea is to have advertising on their white mail trucks. Aren't they doing that on buses in major cities, why not on the mail trucks that are seen every day on every street. Duh!

Gee, what a novel idea!

Sep. 17 2011 05:28 PM
evan from Los Angeles

USPS is an important element of our economy. Sending remittance mail (checks to banks and creditors for payments due) as well as advertising opportunities for small local and national companies. The economic model needs to improve and hopefully we'll all continue seeing the benefit of a low cost, highly secure delivery product. I am in the direct marketing industry have a great deal of faith in the Post Master General. It's congress I worry about, frankly.
That aside - as a citizen of our country and the grandson of a man who delivered mail, I expect that those employed by USPS will work with pride knowing that they are an important part of this economy. For those who are talking about FedEx/UPS delivering 1st Class Mail. You're clearly speaking without intelligence. UPS/FedEx are one of the USPS's biggest customers. They don't have the infrastructure to make it happen and if they haven't encroached on the business yet, maybe just maybe the economic model doesn't work for them. The model that works for them is this - if you want 1st class, you can pay $20 - $80 for the delivery and we'll have it there the very next afternoon. INFRASTRUCTURE. Google it :)

Sep. 17 2011 10:59 AM
elizabeth vietti from pipeceeek

charge every box holder a service charge

Sep. 14 2011 05:51 PM
Susie from Kansas City, MO

As the daughter of an 87 year old independent living parent, who in March fell inside her house and laid on the floor for 3 days before being found by the mailman. Who took the extra time to see why her mail was still in the mailbox and the box delivered from UPS still was on her porch after 2 days. I want to express how important our postal employees are to our community. Recently there has been a rash of day time breakins, guess what it was a postal worker who saw and reported the crime that got it to stop. A 3 yr old child was wandering alone outside, it was a carrier who stopped and waited for the police to arrive, keeping this child safe and happy in the mail truck until his parents could be located. It is no wonder why at my childs elementary school, they teach that a postal worker is a safe person for a child in need to seek help from. Our carrier IS a part of our community and I am thankful for him.

Sep. 14 2011 05:02 PM
gerald from kansas city

I am in the air freight forwarding business so I know a little bit about what I'm talking about. We constantly battle ups and fedex and we give just as good service (and most cases better), but both companies keep getting bigger and bigger-why, because of two perceptions; 1. the us post office is slow and ineffecient which the post office has never countered, and 2. people today are lazy-lazy-lazy. People today would rather handle everything on-line which ups and fedex stress highly. People don't want to pick up the phone and call for a rate (and save their company 20-25% on shipping cost, or in the case of the Post Office go there (and I don't blame them). The post office I use in my town as some of the most nasty tempered and lazy counter help I've ever seen in a service industry. Mark my work, someday ups or fedex will take over the major functions of the Post Office, and the lazy people don't care if they pay $8.00 instead of .44 cents-after all it's their company's money not theirs.

Sep. 10 2011 03:45 PM
Eric from Boise

It's absurd, the $5 billion dollar payment that the USPS can't pay is a mandate from congress in 2006 in order to steal money from the post office, also the government owes the post office $40 billion, the media seems to hide these two important factors.

Sep. 08 2011 12:34 PM

This is for Ed in Miami. You say let U.P.S. and Fed-ex. deliver 1st class mail. If you knew what you were talking about. U.P.S. and Fed-ex. Don't even deliver packages to every house in the country. We deliver packages for both U.P.S. and Fed-ex. In areas they don't deliver too. If the Post office could recover the money they over paid. It wouldn't be in trouble.

Sep. 07 2011 10:18 PM
ira allen from New York City

I'm a city carrier in New York City, just outside Manhattan. I'm 51 years old and I've been with the Post Office for about 7 years. In other words, I started the job later than many in the P. O. I also have a bachelor's degree. My point is that I am not very impressed by a good deal of my co-workers. I am not impressed by the way they conduct themselves at the job. I am not impressed by the way they handle and deliver the mail. Most of the carriers I work with do not respect the mail; the deliver it in a sloppy manner.

Sep. 07 2011 07:09 PM
POWorker1994 from Calhoun Ga 30701

Ed you need to know UPS And FedEx can deliver first class but you would not get it for .44 cents. They wouldn't touch it for less than 8 dollars plus a surcharge. That is so funny. Shows how out of touch people are with comments like that.

Sep. 07 2011 05:31 PM
lois from Pennsylvania

Folks don't realize until they can't get it, how much they like a mail carrier pulling up in front of their house each day. As a rural carrier for the past 25 yrs in Pa. I have seen first hand how upset people become when a heavy snow fall keeps our postal vehicles from accessing their mailboxes. This is a privledge. I bet that those people in the storm areas on the busy NE coastline who have no power, and no internet might suddenly like the fact that the post office will attempt delivery each day. As long as the road is clear of danger, we will meet you at your box. Remember. When the satelite falls out of the sky and your "secure" internet connection is no more, the postal carrier will be pulling up to your mailbox to bring you news from the outside world.

Sep. 07 2011 10:12 AM
Ed from Miami

The Post Office needs to reduce it's number of employees. At the same time, FedEx and UPS should be permitted to deliver 1st class mail, so that they would be able to hire some of the unemployed workers.

Sep. 07 2011 09:38 AM

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