The US Postal Service, claiming that it faces annual losses that will mount to $18.2 billion by 2015, has announced that it will go ahead with the elimination of up to 264 mail processing centers around the country, reducing the postal workforce by up to 155,000 jobs, on top of the 130,000 jobs that have been cut over the past three years.
President Barack Obama’s budget for the 2013 fiscal year calls for the destruction of tens of thousands of postal positions, as well as the elimination of Saturday mail delivery as early as January 2013.
Other attacks on the immediate agenda are the end or the weakening of the overnight delivery guarantee for first class mail, and the closure of up to 3,700 post offices around the country, devastating many neighborhoods as well as small towns and rural areas where the poor and elderly are particularly dependent upon their local post office.
The Congressional attack on postal workers and the population as a whole is a bipartisan one. Leading the campaign is the right-wing Republican representative from California, Darrell Issa. Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, has introduced legislation that will, among other things, create a new oversight board for the postal service with the power to override union contracts and managerial decisions.