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Postal Service had $740 million third-quarter loss

Published: Monday, Aug. 12, 2013 11:15 a.m. CST

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Postal Service has trimmed its losses to $740 million over the last three months by consolidating processing facilities, cutting hours for workers and post offices and reducing workers’ compensation costs, the agency said Friday.

Still, year-to-date, the Postal Service had losses totaling $3.9 billion, and the agency said that without help from Congress its financial woes will worsen.

The report for the financial quarter ending June 30 comes as Congress considers proposals to fix the agency’s finances.

The third-quarter loss was far less than its $5.2 billion loss for the same period last year. Postal officials said its cost-cutting and efficiency moves helped lower losses, along with a $918 million decrease to its workers’ compensation expenses due to interest rates.

Postal officials also want permission to ship beer, wine and spirits to compete with private shippers such as FedEx, saying it could bring in as much as $50 million a year.

A Senate bipartisan proposal would let the agency end Saturday delivery in a year and make changes in how pensions and retiree health care costs are calculated in an attempt to stabilize the agency’s finances.

The Postal Service is an independent agency that receives no tax dollars for its day-to-day operations but is subject to congressional control.

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