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Video: NC consolidation to cost jobs, slow mail delivery

beakinaboxProcessing mail, packages, and parcels out of one local processing plant will soon move further west. The change will leave some without jobs, others with possible delivery delays.

Postal workers at the Rocky Mount Processing and Distribution Center are part of the USPS consolidation plan.

Last week, the USPS notified workers that by January 2015 the plant will shut down. All mail will then head 67 miles west to Raleigh’s processing plant. That means if someone mails a letter in Greenville to another Greenville resident, it will head to Raleigh first.

Read more: USPS To Close Local Processing Plant, Will Save $6 Million.

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Republican Senator pushing USPS to keep Minot ND plant open

MINOT, N.D. – Senator John Hoeven today spoke with Drew Aliperto, United States Postal Service (USPS) vice president of area operations for the western area, to press for the continued operation of the Minot Area Mail Processing facility.

In 2011, the USPS began studying more than 250 mail processing facilities nationwide for possible consolidation or closure. By February 2014, 141 facilities had been consolidated, and the USPS announced a freeze on further action for the remaining facilities, including Minot. This week, however, the Postal Service notified affected facilities that it is resuming the plan.

Hoeven’s call was prompted by Monday’s announcement that the USPS planned to close as many as 82 mail processing facilities, including Minot, beginning in January 2015. At Hoeven’s request, however, Aliperto committed to further evaluating the Minot facility in light of significant population growth in the Minot region, which includes the northwest North Dakota oil counties. Aliperto said specifically that he planned to evaluate the facility’s mail volume over the coming weeks and would contact the senator with his results.

“While identifying cost savings are crucial to ensuring the long-term sustainability of the Postal Service, it makes no sense to close facilities in rapidly growing parts of the country, like Minot and western North Dakota,” Hoeven said. “The Postal Service needs to consider North Dakota’s strong economic and population growth not only now but in the future when making a decision on the Minot facility.”

North Dakota is currently experiencing unprecedented development, which is increasing demands on local services and infrastructure. The Minot region is experiencing an influx of businesses and people from expansions in the energy industry.

Hoeven has been a strong advocate for providing quality postal services in fast growing North Dakota. He has hosted both Aliperto and U.S. Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe in the state to see firsthand the tremendous commercial and demographic growth in the area and its impacts on postal service. The senator worked to get more personnel and facilities in North Dakota, including a second full-service post office in Williston, which opened this week, and a memorandum of understanding between USPS and the Rural Letter Carriers Association to grant pay increases and bonuses to recruit and retain rural carriers in the Bakken region. The MOU includes Minot, Dickinson, Williston, Watford City and most of the communities in western North Dakota. The Postal Service has also agreed to add more career positions at the state’s post offices.

Read more: Hoeven Working to Keep Minot Area Processing Facility Operating – News Releases – Press Office – United States Senator John Hoeven for North Dakota.

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USPS Responds to “Is the PMG lashing out at Congress by closing plants?”

Update: earlier this afternoon, Lisa Bowes replied to the USPS statement on her blog

The US Postal Service has responded to yesterday’s “deconstruction” of the USPS’s plant consolidation announcement on the Intellisent Postal Affairs blog:

If Lisa Bowes would have spent more time reading the materials the Postal Service provided on its website about Phase 2 of Network Rationalization http://usps.com/ourfuturenetwork and less time doing her own “deconstruction,” she would have a much better understanding why the Postal Service is taking this action. First, this is not new. Yesterday’s notification to mailers is a continuation of the network rationalization activity approved by the Postal Service Board of Governors in 2011. The consolidation of 141 mail processing facilities in 2012 and 2013 was highly successful and resulted in annual cost savings of approximately $865 million. After ensuring the efficient operations of our network following those changes, the Postal Service is ready to move forward in January 2015 with Phase 2 of Network Rationalization, which is expected to generate an additional $750 million in annual savings. The reason for moving forward is not a mystery – in the last three years, the Postal Service recorded financial losses of $26 billion and we continue to face significant financial challenges associated with the decline of First-Class Mail volume and revenue, wage and benefit inflation, increasing operating costs, as well as legislative mandates and significant debt pressures. In addition, the uncertainty regarding legislative reform and review of postal rates in the courts continues to delay needed capital investments in network operations and undermine the future financial viability of the Postal Service. Moving forward with streamlining our mail processing operations is part of a broader strategy to position the Postal Service for the future so we can continue to meet our customers’ mailing and shipping needs.

Dave Partenheimer
Manager, Media Relations
U.S. Postal Service

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NAPS reiterates opposition to USPS plant closures

From the National Association of Postal Supervisors:

naps-logoThe Postal Service on June 30 announced a major restructuring of its mail processing network with the closure of eighty-two (82) processing facilities throughout the country beginning in January, 2015.

NAPS opposes the Postal Service’s plan because it will slow down the nation’s mail service, further dismantle the distribution network and eliminate middle-class jobs.  The plan will largely eliminate local overnight First Class mail delivery currently the national standard for all local deliveries. Veterans also will be hurt, since nearly twenty percent of the Postal Service’s workforce is comprised of veterans.  Veterans are not entitled to any preference or future employment rights when postal facilities are outright closed.

To read NAPS full media statement, click here.

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Is the PMG lashing out at Congress by closing plants?

Patrick DonahoeThe sudden announcement that the USPS would begin closing more processing plants next year took many by surprise. At least one mailing industry observer suggests that the PMG’s move may have been born at least partly, of anger over the failure of Congress to give him what he wants- five day mail delivery. At the Intellisent Postal Affairs blog, Lisa Bowes deconstructed the USPS statement:

Why are we taking this step now?

Several reasons. Angry about no 5 day from Congress- the timing of this announcement is just not coincidental – and anger at the Staples blowback. I have to confess, I bought in to the Staples rhetoric at first, but the proof is in the pudding, as they say, and that pudding is some rotten.

We believe strongly..

This is the part that makes me sad, because I do think the USPS believes strongly. However, I think their arrogance makes them bad listeners, and bad listeners can’t be successful in the long run. I hope I am wrong on that, because I value the postal system.

Read more: intelisent » Postal Affairs Blog – Direct Mail, Technology, and Marketing.