Postal union retains former Obama 'car czar'

He also did not have much to say about how much the union would pay for Bloom and Lazard’s services.

But with policymakers keeping a close eye on USPS labor costs as they try to put the agency’s books more in order, Rolando did suggest that NALC would try to muscle its way more into the postal reform debate – adding that both Bloom and Lazard had extensive experience working on complex business issues.

In particular, Rolando said Sunday that the union, which has 280,000 members, would look to protect six-day-a-week delivery, with some officials open to granting the Postal Service’s request to scrap Saturday service.

The NALC president also said he was interested in examining ways to make the Postal Service’s business model more viable, perhaps by expanding the services or functions offered by the agency or by embracing the Internet more.

“That’s the million-dollar question,” Rolando told reporters. “We believe there are different things that can be done.”

As it stands, USPS says it lost upwards of $10 billion in fiscal 2011, projects a $9 billion loss for the current fiscal year and says that deficit could grow to $16 billion by 2015.

With labor accounting for 80 percent of its costs, USPS floated the idea over the summer of asking for the authority to lay off 20 percent of its staff, which would require Congress to act because of various collective bargaining agreements.

Elsewhere, the bill being pushed currently by House Republicans would allow a new oversight board to recommend post office closures and other measures to cut costs.