UPS: Can We Hire These Guys to Run the Post Office? (The Stock's Worth a Look, Too) - Yahoo UPS (let’s not say “suffers from” because it actually deals with its problems) shares many of the challenges our federal, state and local governments do: a unionized workforce, huge pension and healthcare obligations, a need to invest in infrastructure projects, and exposure to global economic ups and downs. Seeing UPS’s steady progress and gritty decisions in some of these areas, one wishes our elected officials and bureaucrats could be dispatched to UPS headquarters in Atlanta, or to one of its hundreds of operating facilities, and serve as interns. We might be better off. The company is everything the U.S. Postal Service isn’t. Finally, the company is meeting some of its thorniest problems head-on. It has unloaded fuel-guzzling airplanes, replacing them with shiny new ones that sip fuel. It has massive pension and retiree health obligations, and by gosh they’re well funded (no effort to weasel out of an obligation here, either). Its separate participation in multi-employer pension and benefit funds subjects UPS to the risk that other employers in the funds don’t make good on their obligations, so UPS is slowly, dauntingly trying to limit that exposure; the $896 million charge in the third quarter was to buy its way out of the New England Teamsters and Trucking Industry Pension Fund, shifting covered workers into a new fund less exposed to the problems at Joe’s Trucking.