The US Postal Service's financial woes mounted
in the third quarter when the service suffered a 5.2-billion dollar
loss, it announced Thursday.
The balance sheet is being affected not only by lower mail volume, but also by health benefit obligations to its employees.
In the third quarter, the postal service handled 38.5 billion pieces of mail, 1.4 billion pieces fewer than in the same period a year ago - a decrease of 3.6 per cent.
But more significantly, 3.1 billion dollars of the third quarter's loss stemmed from legislatively mandated pre-funding of retiree health benefits.
"We remain confident that Congress will do its part to help put the Postal Service on a path to financial stability," Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said in a statement.
Donahoe warned that without drastic cuts the service faced bankruptcy. He called on the US Congress to agree to replace the current six-day delivery schedule with a five-day model, eliminating Saturday delivery. Above all, Donahoe called for relief from the pre-payment of employee health benefits.
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