Sen. Brown Demands Answers On USPS Proposal To Close MA Plants

February 24, 2012 by
Filed under: postal, postal news 

Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Scott Brown (R-MA) wrote Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe today to demand an explanation for the U.S. Postal Service’s proposal to close the processing facilities in Lowell, Shrewsbury, Waltham, and Wareham. In the letter, Senator Brown acknowledges the serious financial problems facing the Postal Service, but requests explanations about the methodology of choosing the Massachusetts plants, and the plan to eliminate them as opposed to reducing operations.

Senator Brown also underscored the economic impact of the plant closures, writing, “…these changes will have an enormous impact not only on hundreds of postal employees and dozens of surrounding communities, but the entire state as well. Moving forward with this plan could lead to a considerable loss of jobs and cause service delays impacting small businesses and other mail customers across the Commonwealth.”

Yesterday’s announcement from the Postal Service follows their December 2011 proposal to close the processing facility in Springfield.

Senator Brown coauthored the 21st Century Postal Service Act (S. 1789), which is a bipartisan proposal to save the Postal Service from bankruptcy. He serves as ranking member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, which has the Postal Service within its oversight jurisdiction.

The letter is as follows:

February 24, 2012

 

The Honorable Patrick R. Donahoe

Postmaster General of the United States

United States Postal Service

475 L’Enfant Plaza, SW

Washington, DC 20260-2202

Dear Postmaster General Donahoe,

I am well aware that some significant changes may be required in the next few years to put the Postal Service on a viable fiscal path.  There is no doubt that some consolidation of operations, including reductions in processing capacity, will be required to reduce operating expenses over the long term.  It is expected that all states will feel some impact by these changes and that includes Massachusetts as well.

I am disappointed and concerned, however, with the Postal Service’s recent approval of plans to eliminate all processing operations at four facilities in Massachusetts.  Along with significant reductions at a fifth plant and prior plans to cut operations at the Springfield facility, these changes will have an enormous impact not only on hundreds of postal employees and dozens of surrounding communities, but the entire state as well. Moving forward with this plan could lead to a considerable loss of jobs and cause service delays impacting small businesses and other mail customers across the Commonwealth.  As a result of this decision, I am afraid that larger considerations state-wide have not been adequately taken into account.

For instance, a significant percentage of operations are proposed to move out of state to Connecticut and Rhode Island.  Was due consideration given to finding a way to keep these important jobs within Massachusetts?  Additionally, if these changes are made as proposed, service could be significantly impacted in the central and western parts of the state. Were alternatives appropriately considered to reduce operations in Springfield and Shrewsbury rather than to simply eliminate them altogether?  The Postal Service can ill-afford to push more customers away from the mail service because of poor planning and rash decisions.

My main concern throughout this entire process has been ensuring that it was fair, consistent, and transparent to all stakeholders involved, especially to local employees and businesses. As input from public meetings and important feedback from my constituents has shown, however, it is clear that the Postal Service has fallen far short of their responsibilities in this regard.

With nine facilities under review at some point in this process, the plan for Massachusetts has never been adequately explained up front to government officials, local postal workers, or the public.  Now that the studies have been completed, I expect that the Postal Service will provide its methodology and justification for its proposed plans in Massachusetts without delay. The review process thus far has been extremely unfair to the hard working employees at these plants, who have been in limbo for far too long as to how their jobs might be impacted.  Local postal customers have been similarly affected, having had no way to predict how potential changes might impact their access to or use of postal services in the future.  All of these important stakeholders deserve to know how and why decisions are being made. With a moratorium on closures in place until mid-May and postal legislation still pending in Congress, there is still time to review the proposed changes and make adjustments if necessary.

I fully realize that in order to align operations with future mail volume difficult decisions must be made.  While I appreciate your efforts to tackle the challenging tasks required to right size postal operations for the future, the Postal Service must ensure that it proceeds in the most responsible manner. Unfortunately, I am not convinced that is happening and postal customers and employees in Massachusetts deserve better.  I look forward to assisting you in any way that can better address these concerns in the near future.

Regards,

SCOTT P. BROWN

United States Senator

Comments

10 Comments on Sen. Brown Demands Answers On USPS Proposal To Close MA Plants

  1. headhunters brad on Fri, 24th Feb 2012 1:44 pm
  2. Let me be clear: there is clear decision on incentives at this
    point in time, and there will be further details on what the incentive
    offers will entail for the crafts affected.
    The incentive program is approved and will be offered, details will be posted
    on the new HR Web page, Workforce Connection.
    You can find it on the LiteBlue website, at “www-dot-liteblue-dot-gov.”
    (www.LiteBlue.gov).
    The APWU and NALC have also been briefed on the above Early Retirement Incentives, which will begin with FERS

  3. don on Fri, 24th Feb 2012 3:58 pm
  4. Brown was all for usps down sizing until he realized it was an election year and three of the plants were in Massachusetts. Get rid of this bum!

  5. MUSICAL CHAIRS on Fri, 24th Feb 2012 5:17 pm
  6. WE ANSWER TO NO ONE!

  7. Issa on Fri, 24th Feb 2012 5:57 pm
  8. Thata boy Scott, just like we planned…Write your letter and “act” concerned for the common folk. Remember to buy more Fedex stock like I have.

  9. Scott on Fri, 24th Feb 2012 8:29 pm
  10. Issa i think were all going to get screwed stock an all.

  11. common folk on Fri, 24th Feb 2012 8:32 pm
  12. Will talk in November.

  13. Shirley on Fri, 24th Feb 2012 10:33 pm
  14. Scott,
    Did Carl Rove tell you to write this letter?
    Darrell will be mad at you.
    Or are you just a poser looking for votes?

  15. joe and Bad Brad on Sat, 25th Feb 2012 6:45 am
  16. The APWU is asking you to please reach out to your senators and ask them to support the 21st Century Postal Service Act (S. 1789). To send your senators a quick message, click here.
    After you send a message to your senators, make sure you also take a minute to call their offices and tell them to vote for S. 1789.
    You can reach your senators by calling their Capitol Hill offices using the numbers below:
    Image Blocked

    Call Your Senators:    
    202-224-3121    
    (Capitol Switchboard)    
    [Click here for direct #s]    
    Tell them you Support    
    S. 1789 as it is currently written
    This Bill contains the early Retirement Incentives and Buyouts.
    The APWU will be working to negotiate a retirement program that will provide an incentive to mail handlers who choose to retire or resign during the coming months, thereby providing additional landing spots for any mail handlers who may face excessing from their current installations.

  17. postal supervisor on Sat, 25th Feb 2012 6:22 pm
  18. Senator Brown is an idiot. He could have cared less until he knew this might be his ticket out of Washington. I contacted him several times with data on the plant closings in Mass. and never heard back from him.

  19. OHme on Mon, 27th Feb 2012 7:15 am
  20. Please don’t confuse this Sen. Brown with Ohio’s Sen. Brown. Sherrod Brown is working diligently to save the 9 Ohio offices that have been slated for consolidation. Thank you for the fight Sherrod.