Illinois congressmen write to PMG opposing Rockford consolidation

WASHINGTON, March 4 — The office of Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., issued the following news release:

In a letter to the Postmaster General, U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) and U.S. Congressman Don Manzullo (R-IL) today expressed concern about the United States Postal Service’s plan to conduct a study examining the possibility of moving operations performed at the Rockford Processing and Distribution Facility to the Postal Service’s Carol Stream facility.

"We write to express our concerns about the proposed consolidation, which could have a negative impact on the local workforce," wrote the Illinois Members. "Winnebago County has an unemployment rate of 12.7 percent, one of the highest in Illinois. In these challenging economic times, the Rockford area simply cannot afford to lose stable, good-paying jobs."

In June 2009, Durbin, Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) – the committee with financial jurisdiction over the USPS – sent a similar letter to the Postmaster General in regards to their plans to conduct an Area Mail Processing study on the Processing and Distribution Annex in Quincy. After Durbin directed the Postal Service not to pursue the study as part of the FY2010 appropriations process, the USPS announced the termination of the study.

In 2006, Congressman Manzullo met with Postmaster General John Potter and convinced the Postal Service to delay and eventually abandon its plans to shutter Rockford’s mail processing operations and move them to Palatine. The consolidation would have meant eight counties in northwest Illinois would have lost overnight mail delivery and Rockford would have lost 100 jobs. Nearly 6,000 residents and business owners signed petitions, dozens of local governments passed resolutions of support, and more than 500 showed up for a public forum in 2006 to keep mail operations in Rockford.

[Text of the letter below]

The Honorable Pat Donahoe

Postmaster General

United State Postal Service

475 L’Enfant Plaza, SW

Washington, DC 20260-0010

Dear Postmaster Donahoe:

It is our understanding that the United States Postal Service (USPS) plans to conduct an Area Mail Processing (AMP) study to evaluate the feasibility of consolidating mail processing operations performed at the Rockford Processing and Distribution Facility with those performed at the Postal Service’s Carol Stream facility.

We write to express our concerns about the proposed consolidation, which could have a negative impact on the local workforce. Winnebago County has an unemployment rate of 12.7 percent, one of the highest in Illinois. In these challenging economic times, the Rockford area simply cannot afford to lose stable, good-paying jobs.

In addition, we are concerned that consolidation would compromise the quality of mail service in the region. Last year, following the completion an AMP study, the USPS decided to move originating operations from Palatine to the Carol Stream Processing and Distribution Center. Shifting additional processing operations to Carol Stream could overtax the facility, leading to delays and errors.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Sincerely,

  • chicago mort

    strange how politicians especially REPUBLICANS always talk about GOVERNMENT WASTE and smaller government but when it comes to closing a Postal or MILITARY FACILITY IN ONE OF THERE DISTRICTS, that is no longer needed there suddenly interested in fighting to preserve and hold onto these GOOD PAYING MIDDLE CLASS GOVERNMENT JOBS

  • jacob

    Close saturday and we can keep
    more facilities open.

  • Dave

    They have already cut the number of employees at the Rockford plant and now use some lower paid temp workers. This facility has always been one of the most productive distribution centers in the postal system. Some of the older workers will be retiring soon and they may be able to cut a few positions but there is no reason to close the facility. If Saturday delivery needs to go so be it but moving the operation to Carol Stream will definitely slow service and increase unemployment in this area.