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PMG paints improved financial picture

In his appearance Friday at the National Press Club, Postmaster General Patrick Donahue said that the Postal Service will have an operational loss of $1.7 billion this year.

“This reflects a sharp improvement in the financial picture at the USPS, as the economy improves,” NALC President Fredric Rolando said in a statement afterward. “And it is dramatically different from the doom-and-gloom scenarios postal critics cite.

“In fiscal 2011, the operational loss was $5.1 billion and in fiscal 2012 it was $4.8 billion. The 2013 figure of $1.7 billion stated Friday shows a positive trend, with red ink from operations down by about two thirds. Indeed, in the first quarter of fiscal 2013, the Postal Service had an operating profit of $100 million. All this occurred delivering six days a week.

“These figures—and this trend—show the folly of now taking the radical step of reversing decades of congressionally approved six-day delivery and eliminating Saturday delivery. This would cost the USPS its competitive advantage, drive customers away, reduce revenue and make the Postal Service less able to adapt to an evolving society.

“Instead of a ‘shrink to survive’ strategy—which will only begin a death spiral for the USPS—what is needed is a dynamic business plan for the future to take advantage of the many opportunities for growth, including in the exploding package delivery market.”