Friday, January 8, 2010

UPS Cuts Jobs without Public Hearings

Today UPS announced that it is eliminating 1800 jobs nationwide bu closing 2 regional offices and 26 regional offices.   In a story about the closing of the district office in Cincinnati,  the Cincinnati Business Courier reported that the city will lose between 40 and 60 jobs.

Norman Black, director of global media services for UPS, told Business First of Louisville, a sister paper of the Courier, that the Kentucky and Indiana districts, which include the lower third of Ohio, will be combined into one Indianapolis-based district, the Ohio Valley District.

The number of jobs that UPS is eliminating in each city is a lot more than what the Postal Service eliminates when it consolidates its processing plants.   UPS announced the plan of action in communications with employees first, and then with the investment community and national and local business press.  It will complete this restructuring without local public hearings or letters from members of Congress asking why the office in their district or state was closed.  Finally, UPS has complete discretion in choosing the management and administrative employees that it will retain without worrying about employees with seniority bumping employees with greater ability and potential.  

It is time that someone should examine the impact on the Postal Service of not being able to rightsize its network, management and labor using the same employment rules that apply in the private sector.


Anonymous said...

Am I reading this right? Of course the USPS is a government entity. UPS is private, right? They don't need congressional approvals to close or consolidate.

Jerry said...

Do you mean like the ability to strike?

Anonymous said...

From a peak of over 900,000 employees the USPS has reduced its workforce to less than 600,000 workers. That's a very considerable drop - and it was done all through attrition. Even if the mail volume stays at current levels, the Postal Service will face a shortage of workers who will soon become eligible for retirement. I take it that by "rightsizing" you mean to say "lay offs."

Therefore I think you're wrong!


Anonymous said...

Not quite sure what percentage that would be going from about 900,000 to about 600,000 but thats probably a bigger portion then the ups has reduced over the same time frame. And you also gotta remember that we still deliver to every house Mon.-Sat. It doesn't make a difference if there use to be 10 pieces of mail per house or 5 we still deliver.

Alan Robinson said...

It should be noted that UPS can cut back its workers sorting parcels fairly easily. They are almost all part timers and when volume drops their hours drop. When hours drop sufficiently, people quit.

UPS has always managed its delivery network and staffing levles a lot tighter than the USPS. Therefore its need to cut rank and file is less.

UPS is seeing volume declines in the low single digits at worst. The Postal Service has seen declines of over 15%% and has seen single piece mail drop by over half in the past decade.

Finally, UPS does not have the challenge of reinventing its retail network as it works on a complete franchise model.

Anonymous said...

UPS is brown trucks & uniforms
USPS is White trucks & blue uniforms
two different entities

Jerry said...

UPS got it right by downsizing administrative and management positions first. USPS should take note on how a real business does business.

Anonymous said...

Oh if it weren't for that pesky universal service mandate. Alan, I think you will have your wish after the next collective bargaining agreement is reached with the postal unions,i.e., if collective bargaining still exists for postal workers (I have my doubts). It will become a workforce of a temporay nature, rotating in and out with no real sense of duty or professionalism. In this cynical world we live in, no one believes postal clerks can, or need to be professional as a matter of public trust. The "service" will no longer exist.

Anonymous said...

I am not sure about UPS, but can;t resist not commenting on the postal service which I work for. The USPS would be fine financially if there wasn't one manager for every 5 employees. The other day in our postal office we actually had 2 managers for 4 letter carriers. The postal service needs to trim the fat off the top in a big way.