WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Postal Service said Tuesday it has lost $5.1 billion in the past year, pushing it closer to imminent default on a multibillion-dollar payment and to future bankruptcy as the weak economy and increased Internet use drive down mail volume.
The financial losses for the year ended Sept. 30 came despite deep cuts of more than 130,000 jobs in recent years and the closing of some smaller local post offices.
The service also seeks more layoffs, which are barred by current contracts with its employee unions, and the authority to negotiate with unions on a possible alternate health care system that would cost less.
Postal Service losses have been mounting over the past few years as more private mail and bill payments have been switched to the Internet, and the recession has hurt returns on advertising and other business mail.
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