Is your plant closing? Who knows?

Yesterday’s announcement of proposed USPS service and network cutbacks has produced a flood of news stories, many of them listing processing facilities that are supposedly “scheduled” for closing- here’s one from the Boston Herald:

Seven Massachusetts mail processing facilities are on a list scheduled for closing next year under a budget-cutting plan by the U.S. Postal Service.

Those are in Boston, Brockton, Lowell, North Reading, Shrewsbury, Waltham and Wareham.

If you’re from Massachusetts, it has probably occurred to you that those are all the plants in Massachusetts, with the exception of Springfield. So is all Massachusetts mail going to be worked in Springfield? Probably not- although Springfield doesn’t appear on any of the closing lists, the USPS announced last month that it would be closing, with its mail diverted to Hartford and Shrewsbury. And yes, that’s the same Shrewsbury plant that’s on the list of plants to be closed.

It gets better- while the Boston, North Reading, Waltham and Shrewsbury plants appear on the list of plants to be closed, they also appear on the list of plants set to receive mail from other plants that are being closed.

Confused? Consider Burlington Vermont. It may be closed, and its mail sent to White River Junction, which may be closed and consolidated with Manchester NH, which may be closed and consolidated with Portland ME.

If all of those dominoes actually fell, a local letter mailed in Burlington could face a 500 mile round trip before it got delivered. That’s not likely, but you wouldn’t know that from looking at the USPS documents, or reading the news coverage. Similar scenarios exist elsewhere in the country.

Several news stories do quote USPS officials saying that the plant closing list is not final, but that part of the story doesn’t seem to be getting through.

The bottom line for postal workers and customers is that they really don’t know any more about the local impact of the proposed changes than they did before yesterday’s announcement.

via Postal Service proposes cuts in Mass, nationwide – BostonHerald.com.

  • nora mendez

    Like my MDO says when he doesn’t know the answer to something (which is most of the time): “It’s self explanatory.”

  • 102-A

    It’s better than what my ex-supervisor used to say: “It is what it is!”

  • Gail

    The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.

    For the Service to raise its rates, it needs permission and has often been denied, even denied for a penny increase.

    Perhaps pre-funding future retiree health benefits is a good idea, but the plan in place is outrageous and needs to be scaled down dramatically.

    However, there is a master plan that has been in effect for a long time. That is to privatize the business.

    Once privatized, those with money (the weathly) will buy into the business, raise rates dramatically, stop or significantly reduce the pre-funding of health care benefits for future retirees, and all the profits will end up in their bank accounts.

    The investors will gain and many of those are likely within the organization already, are politicians, or currently have more money than they know what to do with.

    The poor people suffer, the elderly suffer, small businesses will suffer and, in my opinion, it will be at the hand of greed.

    To succeed, the USPS, in my opinion needs a different approach and there is a way to continue as a vital organization. The change is needed from the top down. We need integrity first and foremost. We need honest, hardworking, caring, dedicated corporate management. Not the kind that demands change at all costs. We need people who will stand up against change that will harm this vital institution, but they need to be able to make their stand without the fear of termination of their employment.

    I believe there are many in corporate management that do not voice their wholehearted beliefs because they fear reprisal, but instead just “do what they are told to do.”

    Perhaps we need a truly honorable leader in this organization who would never retaliate against those subordinates who would hold a different opinion about “how to” better the organization.

    Who is truly in charge of the Postal Service? We may never know, but that entity is out there somewhere. It is evil for sure for it is bringing down a vital and historical United States of America organization.

  • whome

    We had a supervisor who always said “You don’t see the big picture”. After 25 years I guess I still don’t see it.