SCHUMER URGES U.S. POSTAL SERVICE TO RECONSIDER CONSOLIDATION OF ELMIRA MAIL SERVICES INTO ONE OUT-OF-TOWN FACILITY- MOVE COULD IMPACT UP TO 55 JOBS AT LOCAL PROCESSING CENTER
Postal Service Wants to Move Mail Processing Machines from Elmira; Decision Could Delay Local Mail Service For Those Who Need It Most: Small Businesses, The Elderly, Those Living Paycheck to PaycheckMay Result in Job Losses Or Longer Commutes For Up to 55 EmployeesIn Letter, Schumer Urges U.S. Postmaster General to Reconsider Consolidation, Ensure Reliable Mail Service in Elmira
Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer wrote to the U.S. Postal Service Postmaster General urging him to reconsider the proposal to consolidate the Elmira mail processing services to an outoftown facility. The proposal to transfer mail processing into one regional facility is based on preliminary feasibility findings. Schumer noted that partial closure of the Elmira facility would present significant challenges to the local economy, impact the timely delivery of local mail, and put up to 55 local jobs at risk.
"In these tough economic times when so many people are struggling to make ends meet, any delay in the arrival of one's paycheck can be devastating," said Schumer. "A small business waiting for much needed revenue should not be forced to wait an additional day, nor should a senior citizen waiting for her or his Social Security check. I worry that the proposal to eliminate the Elmira processing services could result in job losses or a much longer commute for workers, adding increased hardships for families. I urge the Postmaster General to reconsider the proposal to consolidate the facility and to instead preserve reliable mail service in Elmira and keep these muchneeded jobs right where they are."
The proposal to transfer mail processing and distribution operations from Elmira may affect 55 local employees. The proposal to take up to six machines out of the Sullivan Street facility and consolidate the center into one regional location may result in job losses and delayed postal services. The USPS has pledged to offer employees transfers to the regional facility within a 500mile area, but, given the high price of gas, forcing workers to take on a long, daily commute is impractical and costly. In addition, with the USPS' proposal threatening 55 positions, employee transfers may not be a viable option.
Schumer noted that eliminating regional processing services in Elmira will have a negative impact on the quality of services provided and the speed at which locallyoriginated mail can be delivered. Under the USPS proposal, all first class mail will be shipped to Rochester or Buffalo to be processed and then rerouted back to the local area for delivery. This will result in unnecessary and costly delays for residents, workers and businesses in Elmira.
In an effort to maintain mail service at the Elmira processing facility, Senator Schumer wrote to USPS Postmaster General Potter urging him to reconsider the proposal to consolidate services into one regional out of town facility.
In the letter he wrote, "By allowing these important functions to remain local, residents can be assured their mail will be delivered in a timely manner and area jobs can be protected."
A full copy of the letter is below
October 14, 2009
The Honorable John E. Potter
Postmaster General & Chief Executive Officer
United States Postal Service
475 L'Enfant Plaza, SW
Washington, DC 202600004
Dear Postmaster Potter:
I write in regards to the United States Postal Service plans to consolidate mail servicing centers in New York State, specifically as it would affect the processing facility in Elmira. I am concerned that the partial closure of this facility will present significant challenges to the local economy and impact the timely delivery of local mail. The decision to transfer mail processing services from Elmira into one regional out of town facility, based on preliminary feasibility findings, will adversely affect residents, workers and businesses of in Elmira and throughout the Southern Tier. Given these difficult economic times, such a decision may result in job losses and delayed services for families and businesses throughout the state.
This local mail processing and distribution facility employs a number of local residents. The consolidation of the center into a regional location threatens nearly 55 of these positions and may result in elimination of jobs. I am aware that the USPS will offer employees transfers to accommodate workers affected by the consolidation; however, this is an impractical solution as it will present a long daily commute at a time when gas prices are on the rise. The most likely option would be for employees to relocate, which may prove difficult for families and promote further migration of population out of already struggling communities.
Also of great concern is the negative impact that eliminating a regional processing center presents to the quality of services provided and speed in which mail originated locally can be delivered. Under this proposal, all first class mail will be shipped to either Rochester or Buffalo to be processed and then rerouted back to the local area for delivery. This will result in unnecessary and costly delays. Aside from the inconvenience of having personal mail received later than desired, citizens may face the late arrival of important paperwork such as bills, paychecks, invoices, and tax forms. Small businesses, which rely on USPS services and the ability to send and receive mail in a timely fashion, may potentially suffer as well.
I therefore request a full and detailed explanation of cost savings, plans to locally maintain USPS jobs, and plans to preserve services for USPS customers. By allowing these important functions to remain local, residents can be assured their mail will be delivered in a timely manner and area jobs can be protected. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact my Washington DC office at 202.224.6542. Thank you for your consideration of this important matter.
Charles E. Schumer
United States Senator
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