- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 5, 2012

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Your editorial “The mailman vs. FedEx” (Nov. 27) mischaracterizes the U.S. Postal Service’s ability to compete with the private sector and falsely asserts we are maintaining overly high staffing levels.

Your description of the Postal Service’s staffing levels as “bloated” is wrong. We have reduced staffing levels by 280,000 positions over the past decade — a 35 percent drop — and the Postal Service will shave an additional 40,000 positions this year alone. These reductions are greater than those of any major private-sector company in America over a similar period.

However, staffing reductions alone will not help the Postal Service achieve profitability. The postmaster general has not urged Congress to allow us to underfund the pensions of postal workers. Instead, he has asked to change the payment structure for pre-funding retirement health care to simply establish a fair and reasonable payment schedule and allow the Postal Service to move away from six-day delivery of mail. That would add up to approximately $8 billion annually, putting the Postal Service on the road to profitability.

The Postal Service is committed to building and driving strategic relationships to improve our customers’ experience. Our latest innovative test product is a same-day delivery service named Metro Post, which seeks to capitalize on the rapid growth in e-commerce.

Finally, your editorial suggested opening up the mailbox to competition by eliminating a 140-year-old statute. The private sector already enjoys a competitive advantage, and relaxing access to the mailbox would pose security concerns, increase delivery costs and ultimately hurt customer service for a trusted and affordable universal service to the American public.

The Postal Service receives no taxpayer funding. It operates entirely from revenues derived from the sale of postage, and we want to keep it that way. The Postal Service will continue to expand its relevance in a digital society, ensure it remains at the heart of an $800 billion mailing industry that employs 8 million people and endures as a vital driver of the American economy.

RONALD A. STROMAN

Deputy Postmaster General

Washington

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