Jacob W asked in Politics & GovernmentPolitics · 9 years ago

Have Union Labor contracts destroyed the Postal Service?

80% of the USPS cost is labor. While at UPS (also unionized) it is 53% and at FedX (non-union) it is 32%?


You need to understand that the Postal Service does not operate for profit yet their labor costs are more than twice the non-union company's costs. You cannot compare the cost for a letter with the cost of overnight deliver, because only the Postal Service is currently allowed to provide mail delivery. If private companies did, the cost would be far lower than it is. Remember, the cost of sending a letter isn't just what you pay for the stamp. The Postal Service is also highly subsidized with your tax dollars. All of that expense must be considered as well.

Update 2:

The premise that the internet destroyed the Postal Service is incorrect. Remember, the Postal Service does not operate for profit. Having less mail to deliver should have caused the price per letter to be lower not higher. With less to deliver, one would expect the Postal Service to downsize. It hasn't.

Update 3:

People seem to think the problem is the Pension plan. Well, isn't that "problem" caused by Union Contracts? Wouldn't the Postal Service be in better shape if they had a Pension Plan similar to the private sector?

14 Answers

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Not to get on a soap box here but Unions have destroyed more than just the Postal Service, they are the same ones you can thank for most of the manufacturing jobs going over seas. Sure they served a purpose in the beginning, but ultimately have driven the labor costs up so high and productivity down on everything they've been involved in that, they've either bankrupted the industry as a whole or sent the very jobs they claim to protect over seas. In my opinion unions are the scourge of America, If I were President I would sign an executive order requiring all states to become right to work states in order to continue to receive federal funds. I'm so thankful to live in a right to work state which for the most part has kept the unions at bay. The worst part is everyone knows it but doesn't have the backbone to stand up and say so, because they'll be labeled as attacking the working class.

  • teller
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    rarely. You do understand that place is basically consistent with communism? in the progressed international, the sole countries that hae not or have not got labor unions are those under communist regimes. the reason being obtrusive. labor unions recommend that workers and administration artwork out and function under enforceable contracts arrived at via bargaining in a loose industry. Communism replaces contracts with arbitrary decrees exceeded down from some critical authority. people who worry the ability of a loose industry oppose labor unions -- and that usuallly potential people who help a communistic gadget.

  • L.T.M.
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    A (letter/mail) delivery competition would be interesting. Take 3 states..say maybe GA, FL, and WA and give the 3..USPS, UPS, FedX a 2 year contract. My guess is that the first 2 would be forced to match FedX's numbers (which would also come down some).

  • Matt
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    Yes, it is unions. In no way could it possibly be the increase in competition and the major decline in regular mail being sent due to technology.

    Having less mail to deliver increases the cost per letter. The sorting and transport of the mail is only part of the cost. A mailman comes past your house every day, if you have mail or not. If they are able to deliver more mail per trip (i.e. more letters) then they make more money on that visit.

    The fact that it is a non-profit does not mean that the same laws of supply and demand do not apply.

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  • 9 years ago

    No, moronic conservatives attempting to make the USPS prepay 30 years of pensions up front has damaged the postal service. The USPS has not taken federal money to run their operation since the early 80s.

    Your second additional edit makes your ignorance about economics obvious.

  • Hitler, who took office in 1933, ended Germany’s depression within two years by deficit spending on the autobahn, the Volkswagen, and television as well as on concentration camps and munitions factories.

    FDR took office the same year. During the four-year period 1934-1937, FDR could have built interstate highways and modern railroads, airports and seaports, water and sewer systems, levees and dams, schools and hospitals, as well as munitions factories and arsenals with the same amount of deficit spending as during the four years of WW II,.

    And during the same period and within the same budget, he could have paid 16,000,000 youth to learn trades, engineering, and science at free schools and universities instead of paying them to go to war.

    What would have been the result?

    The Great Depression would have ended by 1935. By 1938, the ratio of national debt to GDP would have been the same as it was at the end of WW II (120%) with the same post-war boom we had in 1946.

    Consumers would have had as much savings, enough to buy cars and homes and turn old farms into new suburbs. We would have been better set for the war and many of our dead heroes would have survived and returned to a far richer nation.

    Only the blind stupidity of the deficit hawks kept much of that dream from being real.

    And these idiots are still turning our dreams into a nightmare.

    See: http://www.keynesforum.com/

  • justa
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    No, the internet killed the Post Office, that and the fact that nearly every small town in the US had a post office. With online bill pay and advertisers ending catalogs and switching to email alerts they lost their money making business.

    The other two are primarily package delivery, not mail.

    The Post Office is one of the biggest employers of veterans.

  • 9 years ago

    Sure haven't helped. The best answer would seem to be privatizing the Post Office, but since it is heavily subsidized by the government the unions would scream bloody murder at that proposal.

  • 9 years ago

    Of course not, as your figures show. With the internet and cell phones, there just isn't as much need to send letters.

  • Biba
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    I can send my christmas cards for 45 cents through the post office and about 5 bucks through UPS or FED-X

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