West Virginia congressional delegation asks PMG why their state is being hit with so many plant closings

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The five Members of the West Virginia Congressional Delegation today joined together to express to the Postmaster General their concern about the proposed consolidation of mail processing operations in West Virginia.

The Postal Service has proposed five Area Mail Processing (AMP) studies to consolidate mail processing operations in West Virginia – an unusually high number for one state. AMP studies are ongoing in Bluefield and Martinsburg, and have already been completed in Wheeling, Beckley, and Huntington.

The delegation expressed their concerns in a letter that was initiated by Representative Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.) and signed by Senators Jay Rockefeller and Joe Manchin (both D-W.Va.) and Representatives Shelley Moore Capito and David McKinley (both R-W.Va.).

The text of the letter is below:

March 7, 2011

The Honorable Patrick R. Donahoe

Postmaster General and Chief Executive Officer

U.S. Postal Service

475 L’Enfant Plaza, SW, Room 10804

Washington, DC 20260-3500

Dear Postmaster General Donahoe:

We are very concerned about the Area Mail Processing (AMP) studies that have been initiated in West Virginia.

The Postal Service has announced four AMP studies in West Virginia since last summer – in Beckley, Huntington, Martinsburg, and Bluefield – and already implemented a fifth study in Wheeling. The Postal Service is not pursuing any studies – not one – in twenty-two other states, and yet there have been five proposed consolidations in West Virginia alone. Of those states where studies are being pursued, only seven have had as many or more AMP studies than West Virginia, all of them states with significantly larger populations.

In addition, of the five studies in West Virginia, three have proposed moving mail processing operations out of the state – from Wheeling to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; from Martinsburg to Suburban, Maryland; and from Bluefield to Johnson City, Tennessee.

The Postal Service is required by law to provide effective and regular mail delivery services to rural areas – even when it costs the Postal Service money and it has to run a deficit to do so. The people of West Virginia deserve the same level of service and the same fairness and equity afforded to the people of other states. We are rightly concerned about our mail services being disrupted and the impact on postal workers in our communities.

We would appreciate your providing us with a full report on why West Virginia is being made to bear a disproportionate number of AMP studies, and why so many AMP studies are being announced within such a short period of time.

We look forward to your timely response.

Sincerely,

via Press Releases – News – United States Senator Joe Manchin.