Of 264 facilities studied for closure, 223 were approved for consolidation.
Six are still being studied. Only 35 consolidations were disapproved — at this time.
The Postal Service’s announcement on Feb. 23 that it has approved 223 mail processing plants for consolidation [PDF] leaves union members just one option, APWU President Cliff Guffey said: We must continue the fight!
“That means getting Congress to act now to Save America’s Postal Service,” he said.
In “stand-up talks” with employees on Feb. 22, managers emphasized that consolidations would not take place until after May 15, when a six-month moratorium on consolidations expires. The moratorium was intended to give Congress “the opportunity to enact an alternate plan,” postal officials pointed out.
“The Postal Service has sent a clear message,” Guffey said. “If Congress does not take action before the moratorium expires, management intends to dismantle the mail processing network.
“APWU members must reach out to their senators and representatives now and urge them to support legislation that will correct the underlying cause of the USPS financial crisis without slashing service, eliminating jobs, and destroying the network of plants and post offices that keeps the mail moving,” he said.
“This is a Congressionally-manufactured crisis caused by mandates in the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006,” Guffey said. “It has taken just six years for that terrible law to bring the Postal Service to the edge of extinction.”
Guffey asked every postal employee to join the struggle. “The folks that got good news should keep up the fight, too,” the union president said, “because the Postal Service was clear: 35 consolidations were disapproved at this time.”
Why Service Standards Are Crucial
Management also pointed out that the consolidations can only be implemented if service standards are revised. The APWU, along with a committed group of senators, has been working to prevent changes to service standards, by seeking support for amendments to the 21st Century Postal Service Act (S. 1789), which is expected to come up for a vote in the Senate soon.
“It is critical that APWU members ask their senators to support the amendments,” Guffey said. In its current form, S. 1789 fails to adequately address the cause of the Postal Service’s financial difficulties.
“The amendments offered by the 27 senators would prevent the closures of hundreds of mail processing plants and thousands of post offices, halt the elimination of tens of thousands of jobs, and stop drastic reductions in service to the American people,” Guffey said. “We must urge Congress to act now.”