Durbin: PMG Should Prove Cost Savings Before Closing Plants

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) sent a letter to Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe urging him to adhere to a provision – included in the Senate Financial Services and General Government Appropriations passed last month by the Senate Appropriations Committee – that would require the Postal Service to conduct a new audit that shows cost savings before moving forward with plans to close or consolidate facilities that were recently found to be efficient. The provision, originally included in the comprehensive postal reform legislation passed by the Senate in April of this year, would affect 11 mail processing facilities nationwide including the facilities in Quincy, Illinois and Rockford, Illinois.

“I urge you to adhere to the terms of that language, which has already passed the United States Senate once and is likely to pass again in the near future. Until such time as an independent audit finds that these facilities are no longer efficient, I adamantly oppose any efforts to eliminate or reduce their operations,” Durbin wrote.

“Workers at the facilities in Rockford and Quincy have already begun hearing rumors of how they will be impacted and when and how operations will change. The elected representatives of those areas should be informed as those decisions are made. With better communication, it is likely that many negative outcomes of this haphazard process can be avoided.”

Durbin, as Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government, included his provision in the Senate’s FY2013 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill. The provision is supported by the National Postal Mail Handlers Union and the American Postal Workers Union.

Text of the letter is below:

July 9, 2012

The Honorable Patrick Donahoe
Postmaster General
United States Postal Service
475 L’Enfant Plaza, SW
Washington, DC 20260-0010

Dear Postmaster General Donahoe:

I write to you regarding the Postal Service’s processing facilities in Quincy, Illinois and Rockford, Illinois. As you know, these facilities carry out mail processing with the utmost efficiency and have provided excellent service for many years. Despite that, the Postal Service has chosen to begin the process of shuttering these facilities without an independent review of their operations.

I authored language that was included in the Senate-passed postal reform legislation (S. 1789) and in the Fiscal Year 2013 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Bill (S. 3301), which passed the Senate Appropriations Committee, that would require the Postal Service’s Inspector General to carry out an independent audit before processing facilities like the ones in Quincy and Rockford, which were recently found to be efficient, can be closed.

I urge you to adhere to the terms of that language, which has already passed the United States Senate once and is likely to pass again in the near future. Until such time as an independent audit finds that these facilities are no longer efficient, I adamantly oppose any efforts to eliminate or reduce their operations.

Workers at the facilities in Rockford and Quincy have already begun hearing rumors of how they will be impacted and when and how operations will change. The elected representatives of those areas should be informed as those decisions are made. With better communication, it is likely that many negative outcomes of this haphazard process can be avoided.

I look forward to your reply.

Sincerely,

Richard J. Durbin

United States Senator