The U.S. Postal Service could cut its workforce by one-third and its supervisory ranks even more, a leading Republican Congressman indicated this week.
"The Post Office has 200,000 people who should be retiring," Rep. Darrell Issa said in a speech Wednesday to The Heritage Foundation. USPS had 568,301 employees at the end of August. "When I say retiring I mean we don’t need them. But let’s bear in mind it’s just not the guy at the post office; it’s the thousands of people who are doing maintenance at post offices that we don’t need to have so many of."
"And more importantly there’s a 1 to 7 ratio," the California Republican said. "For every person that delivers your mail, or packs your mail, or touches your mail -- for every 7 of them -- there’s one of them that is just, quote, a 'supervisor'. That’s a ratio that’s so unacceptable in the private sector."
As ranking Republican on the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee, the California Republican would probably chair the key Congressional panel overseeing the USPS if the GOP wins a majority in the November elections. His comments about the Postal Service start just after the 29-minute mark in this video of the speech.
"I’m going to take on postal reform if I’m lucky enough to be the chairman next year," Issa said.
Efforts to shrink the Postal Service's workforce through attrition and early-retirement incentives "simply have not resulted in the kind of change and transformation USPS needs to cover its costs," Issa wrote recently in an editorial for The Washington Times. He would like the USPS to be able to lay off unionized employees if they could be retrained for and fill other jobs in the federal government.
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