Dismantlement of the United States Post Office Continues

From my friend Jamie Partirdge, whom I will mention on my post about the Conference today, as soon as I can get around to it.

The Goin Postal pack-and-ship company has signed a deal to put small postal stores inside of 2,000 Walmarts. While the Postmaster General will probably say it’s all about customer convenience, the deal represents yet another step in the privatization of the Postal Service.
These postal stores, it should be noted, aren’t exactly the same as the mini-post offices that the Postal Service tried piloting in 82 Staples [1] late last year.

The Staples counters were more like contract postal units in that they sold only USPS products and services and they charged regular USPS prices.

The Goin Postal stores are part of the USPS Approved Shippers program, which consists of stores that can also offer FedEx, UPS, DHL, and anything else they want. They make their profit by charging a fee on top of the USPS pricing.

By expanding its network of “alternate retail channels” — whether through Village Post Offices in convenience stores, stamps on consignment at retail chains, online transactions on usps.com, postal counters in Staples, or an Approved Shipper counter in Walmarts — the Postal Service has been encouraging its customers to do business at places other than regular brick-and-mortar post offices.
In the short run, that means the Postal Service can save money by reducing the number of clerks in post offices and by cutting the hours of operation, as it’s done with POStPlan, the initiative to shorten hours at 13,000 small post offices.

While the Postal Service likes to be coy about it, there’s no question that expanding alternate access is about cutting costs. As a USPS memo [2] about the Staples pilot stated, “The Pilot will be used to determine if lower costs can be realized with retail partner labor instead of the labor traditionally associated with retail windows at Post Offices.”

Soory about the footnotes [1] and [2]: lost in translation.

About M. Meo

Worked as translator, museum technician, truck lumper, lecture demonstrator, teacher (of English as a Second Language, science, math). Married for 25 years, 2 boys aged 18 & 16 (both on the Grant cross-country team). A couple of scholarly publications in the history of science. Two years in federal penitentiary, 1970/71, for refusing the draft.
This entry was posted in Economics, Friendship, Inequality, Jamie Partridge, Police, U.S. Constitution. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s