The US Postal Service now has 5,000 employees in quarantine and only enough cash to last through September
- The US
Postal Serviceneeds funding to help it stay afloat, or else it will run out of money in about four months' time.
- A new aid package proposed by House Democrats includes $25 billion of direct funding for the agency, but it's far from guaranteed.
- A union representing
USPSemployees said about 5,000 are in quarantine due to COVID-19, and 60 have died.
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While previous estimates put a June expiration date on the USPS if it didn't get the necessary financial help, the post office now expects to be able to survive through September. It's not exactly a sigh of relief, but it is a few extra months.This is according to a May 13 statement from the National Association of Letter Carriers, which is the national labor union of city carriers employed by the USPS. In it, the union pushed that June deadline back, but just by a bit.
The biggest stressor on the USPS' finances over the past decade has been a 2006 law, which required the USPS to calculate how much money it would need for pensions over the coming 75 years and build a fund to cover that amount. Of the agency's $62.4 billion in losses from 2007 to 2016, the USPS' inspector general attributed $54.8 billion to that pre-funding requirement.But things have gotten really ugly during the pandemic. The estimates of how long the USPS can last have changed over the course of it, but all share one thing in common: They're soon.
Business Insider previously reported in March that without the funding, the USPS could find itself shuttered by June. In April, the belief was that the USPS could "run out of cash" by October, according to Postmaster General Megan J. Brennan.The NALC statement mentioned the new
Those numbers have only skyrocketed since. The NALC statement said about 5,000 employees are currently quarantined, with more than 12,000 previously quarantined people cleared and back at work — including about 1,000 who tested positive and recovered. Roughly 900 of the currently quarantined employees have tested positive for COVID-19, and another 500 are thought to be positive as well. Sixty have died from the virus.
Employees have told Business Insider that a lack of supplies, sick pay, and care from supervisors is putting them at risk.In April, there were reports that Donald Trump rejected a bailout package that would save the USPS. The move could impact the 2020 elections pretty seriously, as more and more states adopt voting by mail systems. And despite saying that he'd "never let [the] post office fail," the president also refused to sign additional bailout funds to the agency unless it increased rates on Amazon, which relies heavily on the USPS.
Rolando urged letter carriers to contact their senators about approving the funding in the next stimulus package. The USPS does not receive tax dollars for its operating expenses. Instead, it relies on postage and product sales and services as funding.Read the original article on Business Insider
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