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

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

  • craft director

    You can Wish in one hand and Crap in the other and see which one is filled first…..

  • georgb

    collins and carper they now have 45 billion in health care in escrow and they want to start their own health care plan so they can take that surplus the postal service is apublic service not abusiness if it was abusiness would you give control of health plan to the same people who ran the service ben franklin started into the ground thank you sen collins and carper you will live on in infamy foreever longer than the stamp

  • Scout

    Hey Senator Brown where have you been, hiding under a rock.

  • sueka

    Dear Scott,
    Sorry, the decision has already been made. We will go ahead with the closures despite any moratorium we have agreed to on May 15. Congress set this in motion 6 years ago and it acts to slowly to stop it’s proceeding. Your letter is simply an worthless formality.
    Yours, Patrick

  • wally

    Scott:Where were you months ago, when the closings originally announced. Three or four plants in every state are being closed. Write a letter to Issa and tell him to “smarten up”.

  • Just a stupid voter

    Just another senator making sure that it looks like he’s doing something. No mention of fixing the problems that the senate caused.

  • tony

    The only reason you hear a word from Brown is it is in his state. He will still do nothing!!! He cannot demand when the postal service is left with no other option. You choose not to act along with all senators and congressmen. Now suffer for it…

  • 26 YR Postal Clerk

    Senator Brown, When you sent the letter to the Post Master General, did you stick a stamp on it or did you use the free mail for all government agencies meter postage?! Quit bitching and every week mail a real letter to every household in Massachusetts and tell them to mail a real letter to every person, business, service man/woman they know, get a penpal, order a magazine or catalog, if you order something online and they don’t offer USPS as a shipping option then demand it and put us back in business! For once, the PEOPLE have the ability to save us from disappearing completely. Do you REALLY want 35,000 more people on the unemployment lines in an ELECTION YEAR??!!

  • kingpin

    Of course every Senator will put on an act to save there mail processing center in there home state, but they don’t want to do anything about in congress. The government doesn’t have usps money to give back they spent it on the bail outs for the banks! Were is our bail out!