Holland, there isn't a single employee at usps that is going to die of exhaustion working 70 hours a week. Most just pace themselves, so in the end usps isn't getting much output from the extra hours. If usps had any sense at all it wouldn't work anyone more than 50 hours per week for any length of time.
It's mostly mailhandlers working the long hours as their contract is different than carriers and clerks. It may have changed but most other employees are paid double time after either 56 or 60 hours. Mailhandlers are paid 1.5x for all hours worked beyond 40 and they don't get double time.
I don't know how their current contracts are structured, but hourly workers receive cola every few months added to their hourly wage. It is rolled into their hourly salary. The pension aspect you are posting about is completely different than what I have mentioned. These types of cost increases quickly add up to billions when you are giving them to a several hundred thousand employees.
Another perk usps employees enjoy is the thrift savings plan. That's another several thousand they receive if they decide to take advantage of the perk.
I'm sure the 700 bax employees who are laid off sure wouldn't think $18-25 per hour is poverty either. What type of pay did they get? $12-14 per hour? Did they get anything remotely close to a pension and/or 10 weeks paid time off per year? I doubt it.
Again, when you add in 10 weeks of paid time off per year and a pension, working the mail is a great job. Especially considering it's a job just about any high school dropout could perform.
I like discussing this, but it really doesn't matter to me what usps does. The solution imo is simple...instead of cutting too many services while charging the same or even higher postage prices, they should reduce the wages and benefits to effectively operate their business.
I maybe send one letter per week now via snail mail. If I need to mail something overnight, I send it fedex. A few of my bills now arrive electronically, and with all this crying by usps about revenue and overpaid unions crying about layoffs, I may try to altogether eliminate paper mail at my house.