Post Office Plans Big Cuts Starting Mid-May, Including 35,000 Jobs

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

USPS postal service job cutsBy Hope Yen

WASHINGTON -- With no financial relief in sight, the U.S. Postal Service is pushing ahead with planned cuts to more than 260 mail processing centers around the nation, part of a billion-dollar cost-cutting effort that will slow delivery of first-class mail.

In a statement Thursday, the cash-strapped agency said it had completed a review of closings to mail processing centers it had proposed last fall. Based on community input and other factors, the post office said, it will move forward with consolidations involving virtually all of the 252 facilities on the list, as well as up to 12 new locations, beginning in mid-May.

Of the 264 facilities, roughly 41 won't be closed or consolidated right away as the post office conducts additional reviews.

The consolidations are expected to result in a loss of roughly 35,000 jobs, which the post office hopes to achieve mainly through attrition. The agency described the move as a necessary cost-saving measure because of declining mail volume as people and businesses continue switching to the Internet in place of letters and paper bills.

The 12 locations added to the list include those in Owensboro, Ky.; Washington, Pa.; Cardiss Collins (Chicago), Ill.; Gaylord, Mich.; Staten Island, New York; Mankato, Minn.; Champaign, Ill.; Atlanta, Ga.; Corpus Christi, Texas; Fort Worth, Texas; Mid-Florida, Fla.; and Butte, Mont.

"The steps we are taking now will put the Postal Service on a strong financial footing for decades to come," the agency said in a statement.

The estimated $3 billion in reductions are part of a wide-ranging effort by the Postal Service to quickly trim costs, seeing no immediate help from Congress. It is seeking to close or consolidate more than half of its nearly 500 mail processing centers.

Because the consolidations typically would lengthen the distance mail travels from post office to processing center, the agency also would lower delivery standards for first-class mail that, for the first time in 40 years, will eliminate the chance for stamped letters to arrive the next day.

Last week, the Postal Service warned it will lose as much as $18.2 billion a year by 2015 unless Congress grants it new leeway to eliminate Saturday delivery and raise the price of a postage stamp by as much as 5 cents.

It is asking Congress for permission to make service cuts and reduce annual payments of about $5.5 billion to prefund retiree health benefits. At the request of Congress, the cash-strapped agency agreed to wait until mid-May to begin closures so lawmakers would have time to stabilize its finances first.

But in recent weeks, the Senate and House have stalled as lawmakers differ widely on costs, the level of financial oversight and the prospect of widespread postal closures.

The Postal Service, an independent agency of government, is subject to congressional control on major aspects of its operations. Earlier this month, the Postal Service said its quarterly loss ballooned to $3.3 billion amid declining mail volume and said it could run out of money by October.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who is pushing for legislative changes that would stop or delay mass closings of mail processing centers, described the proposed closings as counterproductive. He and 26 other senators recently signed a letter to congressional sponsors of postal legislation seeking to prevent cuts to first-class mail delivery.

"At a time when the Postal Service is competing against the instantaneous delivery of information from email and the Internet, slowing down mail delivery service will result in less business and less revenue," Sanders said, "and will bring about a death spiral for this institution."

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Here's the complete list of mail processing centers proposed for consolidation or closure (pdf): http://about.usps.com/what-we-are-doing/our-future-network/assets/pdf/communications-list-022212.pdf


Next: Postal Service To Delay Cutbacks Until Mid-May



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eurocardriver000

Obama is nothing but a useless rock star. He's our Ozzy Osbourne of government.

February 26 2012 at 9:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to eurocardriver000's comment
Jeremy

coming from a man who sits at home all day ranting about nothing and harrassing prostitutes...DONT **** WITH ME MAN, I'm talking ip address now .....

June 12 2012 at 12:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mamoseley3

I thought Obama said he was CREATING jobs -- not doing away with them. 35,000 with the postal servic and 5,700 with Proctor & Gamble.

February 26 2012 at 4:05 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
sandra

Complaints I hear and agree with: Postal workers pay is way too high! I hear that they get $30.00 + an hour. There is way too much junk mail being delivered. A lot of mail gets lost in the delivery process, stamps and other services are so high and that is why a lot of people go through the internet. I am in business and hear these complaints from many people.

February 26 2012 at 4:03 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to sandra's comment
OUTLANDER

Sandra you're too ignorant to understand the workings of the Postal Service..but tell me what service will follow you around the world for less then 50 cents? As costs go up for the average individual gas, etc do you think the Postal Sevice isn't feeling that same crunch. Do you think they get gas etc for free?
Ignorance is bliss..

February 26 2012 at 5:13 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to OUTLANDER's comment
sandra

i'M VERY SORY FOR YOU FOR YOU ARE THE ONE WHO IS IGNORANT. I have many postal workers that are friends and this all comes from their mouths and other people.

February 26 2012 at 5:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down
V. Geo Singleton

Sandra you are misinformed. There are not any postal workers that get $30.00 a hour. You must got the post office confused with UPS. Post employee are overworked and abused daily by supervisors who have no management experience. There are problems with mail getting lost or misplaced and this problem is due to distrubution plant consolation and lack of employees. People will use the internet more but internet fraud is on the rise and that's the risk you take with the computer. We need to raise the price of the stamp to make up for the losses due to gas prices skyrocketing and low mail volume. The post office need to understand that decreasing salaries and layoff employee is not the answer but adding on to the problem of poor customer service.

February 26 2012 at 6:35 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Dennis

So, basically what they are saying is.....THE POSTAL SERVICE IS GOING TO GET WORSE THAN IT ALREADY IS !!!

February 26 2012 at 3:59 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
V. Geo Singleton

I hard to believe that closing plants, post offices and layoffs are going to solve the problem of the post office. Fuel cost is going to be a major problem. How about raising the cost of stamps to $.63 cents. This will elimate the problem. This cost will hurt customers but will be less than they are paying each month for gas. This price is lower than the cost to send that same letter across country for UPS or FEDEX. How about a change in upper management. Lets get someone in office who has a different vision about the direction the post office is going. Do we need the post office to operate under the business concept? That sounds good but like most businesses, upper management salaries will increase and workers salaries will decrease which will produce poor service. Do you care about service? One of the problems the post office is having now is more work on the employee and hiring low paid personnel. This will ruin this business and customers will pay the higher cost to other agencies for the same service.

February 26 2012 at 3:45 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
bsccrawdad32

It is like the Titanic no one can plug the hole. It is just a matter of time until it sinks. It is a two edge sword cut more services and lose more business to package delivery services and email.

February 26 2012 at 3:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Patricia

I beleive some of the post office problems could be management, union fees and greed. Not to mention poor service and people who have a lack of cutomer service. Not all postal workers are bad with customer service, but the ones who are make the rest of them look bad.

February 26 2012 at 3:01 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
larry

I understand, Bend Oregon will lose it's sorting and distribution center because in the near future the distribution and sorting will be done in Portland. Currently it takes 1 day for a letter to get from Bend to Portland. After the Bend distribution center closes, rumor has it, it may take up to 4 days. Too bad, because one can drive from Bend to Portland in less than 3 hours.

February 26 2012 at 2:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
petpetdonna

Start by cutting about 25% of the upper management positions,. Then reducing the pay of the carriers by 30%. If the union doesn't like it, BFD. The Post Office has been out of control for the past 20 years. If they can't run it like a real business then they should GO OUT OF BUSINESS.

February 26 2012 at 2:57 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to petpetdonna's comment
OUTLANDER

Agree with some of what you've posted but the Postal Service can't compete with REGULAR business's that's the whole problem.
Boy, the lack of information people have on the runnings of the Postal Service is astonishing.

February 26 2012 at 5:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
the rockman

let's get rid of post offices,then what's next fed ex,ups and then when the internet is compromised what will we do when hackers prove that they can and will control all transactions concerning your accounts where will we be,a third world country?,i'm not ready for that i defended this country for 14yrs and even though i am not a soldier i am american and love and would not want to see the end to any job,go after the big wigs who are making money on top of money and our expense

February 26 2012 at 2:49 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

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