The US Postal Service confirmed it is developing a new business plan with an immediate focus on efficiency, though it did not address reports that surfaced over the weekend about new directives that could delay mail delivery.
As we reported on the EcommerceBytes Blog on Sunday, an unverified memo containing the directive said all overtime (OT) would be eliminated and stated, “If the plants run late they will keep the mail for the next day. If you get mail and your carriers are gone and you cannot get the mail out without OT it will remain for the next day.”
USPS spokesperson Dave Partenheimer provided EcommerceBytes with the following statement on Monday:
“The Postal Service is developing a business plan to ensure that we will be financially stable and able to continue to provide reliable, affordable, safe and secure delivery of mail, packages and other communications to all Americans as a vital part of the nation’s critical infrastructure. While the overall plan is not yet finalized, it will certainly include new and creative ways for us to fulfill our mission, and we will focus immediately on efficiency and items that we can control, including adherence to the effective operating plans that we have developed.”
We had reached out to Partenheimer after seeing reports about the memo published on the National Association of Letter Carriers’ Facebook page, which we wrote about on the EcommerceBytes Blog.
Brian Sheehan of PostalNews.com also published (clearer) images of the memo in an article titled, “Document purports to show PMG’s plans for changes to USPS operations.”
Sheehan said in his post that he received an email that claimed the images of the memo were from a PowerPoint presentation shared by a POOM from Ohio last week (we believe that stands for Post Office Operations Manager). Someone commenting on the article wrote, “The information about no OT and delaying mail is correct. This is phase one of a multi-phase organizational change.”
“Meanwhile,” Sheehan wrote, “comments on our Facebook page confirm that employees are already being advised of the changes in standup talks.”
The comments on the Postal News Facebook page offers a fascinating look at the reaction from postal workers of the (as of yet unverified by the Postal Service) directives being described. Some said eliminating all overtime and holding mail until the next day would result in complaints – which some said might be the point. One person wrote, “then it will be easier to prove that the post office could be privatized and run better.”
Others questioned whether the Postal Service could enact some of the policies described in the memo due to union restrictions.
(Someone on Twitter reminded us of this EcommerceBytes Newsflash article from March about previous the Postmaster General’s efforts to reduce expenses.)