The post office's largest union said Sunday it is hiring its own financial consultants to study the future of the financially strapped agency.
The National Association of Letter Carriers said it is hiring the investment bank Lazard Group LLC and former White House adviser Ron Bloom as consultants on the future of the post office. Bloom is a former assistant to President Barack Obama for manufacturing policy.
The Postal Service lost $8 billion in 2010 and the picture is likely to be worse when details of fiscal 2011 are released next month. The agency has proposed cutting mail delivery to five days a week, closing thousands of offices and cutting its staff by as many as 200,000.
"The nation's letter carriers are committed to preserving six-day-a-week universal services to every address in every village, town and city in the nation," said Fredric V. Rolando, president of the 280,000-member union.
Rolando said the cost of the consulting services will depend on how extensive the work has to be, and added it will focus on the long-term success of the post office. He said the union will also continue to work with Congress and postal management.
"Our efforts will be fact-based, non-political, non-ideological and focused on the continued provision of universal service to the public and the preservation of hundreds of thousands of good middle-class jobs," Rolando said.