Hundreds more mail processing plants like this one (Sioux City, Iowa) would be closed if service standards are relaxed. First-Class Mail is becoming like Standard Mail. People will be forced to pay for Priority Mail or Express Mail if they want one or two day delivery. This proposed reduction in service standards amounts to a huge price increase.
Proposal To Revise Service Standards for First-Class Mail, Periodicals, and Standard Mail – http://federalregister.gov/a/2011-24149
Idle Sioux City Postal Workers to Earn Millions
“Tuesday was the first day that Scott Tott was scheduled to become a standby employee at the Sioux City mail-processing facility that closed Friday. Tott – and 39 of his workplace peers – might have nothing to do for the next 3 and a half years, but will still get paid. “The situation has prompted some of Iowa’s top elected officials to sound further alarms about the rationale behind the federal government’s decisions to close some postal operations. “My question is: Are there actual cost savings in this move?” asked U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, a Democrat. Sen. Chuck Grassley, a Republican, echoed a similar sentiment. “If the Postal Service is determined to close this facility to save money, then it better make sure that it’s saving money,” Grassley said.
Here are some stories about the Sioux City processing center shutdown:
40 Idle Sioux City postal workers to earn millions
Postal service could pay some employees not to work
No Hope For Sioux City Mail Processing Center?
OUR OPINION: Flaws mount in USPS process for closing local center
Barring a last-minute legislative miracle, it appears the United States Postal Service’s mail processing center in Sioux City will shut down for good on Friday. Despite serious flaws with the process that led to the decision and outrage from local, state and federal officials, the Postal Service remains intent on closing the facility.
On Sunday, the Journal reported in an exclusive story that up to 40 workers could be paid $1.7 million for the next three and a half years for doing nothing. That’s a figure that Sioux City Postal Workers Union Local 186 executive officer Jim Price says wasn’t considered when the Postal Service conducted a study of the shutdown.
Postal officials argue that those workers will all eventually be reassigned to other duties within the Postal Service. Yet, that still doesn’t explain why that $1.7 million (and the figure could be higher given other workers have already been reassigned) in labor costs weren’t part of the equation. Add that figure to a list of factors that local, state and federal officials have long complained the USPS didn’t consider before announcing the decision to move the work done in Sioux City to Sioux Falls.
The nearly comical inability of the Postal Service to appropriately consider and weigh all factors, including a union contract that stretches into 2015, is the clear problem here. Yet, sadly, we are not surprised. With business decisions like these, it’s no wonder the Postal Service is fighting for its life.