WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-Md.) today praised the announcement by the United States Postal Service to postpone the closure and consolidation of post offices and processing facilities across the country, protecting thousands of postal workers jobs. The delay impacts possible consolidation of the Easton and Cumberland Area Mail Processing Centers (AMP).
“The U.S. Postal Service has made a very sensible decision because it gives Congress time to work on a solution that will meet the needs of American consumers and businesses,” said Senator Cardin. “I have strongly encouraged the U.S. Postal Service to take into account the importance of its processing facilities with regard to the efficient delivery of mail and to the economy of communities in which they are located.”
“Today’s decision by the Postal Service is good news for Maryland jobs,” Senator Mikulski said. “This delay will stabilize the post office and delay closures that would pull the rug out from under hundreds of Maryland postal workers. I want all postal workers to know I am on their side. They are on the front lines every day, working hard for America – binding the nation together through communication. I will continue to fight on behalf of postal worker jobs by working with my colleagues to make sure we have a solution that leaves the Postal Service in a stable financial condition without harming its employees or its customers.”
During the interim, the Postal Service will continue to review potential facility closures. In September, Senators Mikulski and Cardin sent a letter to Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe to call for greater transparency and increased public input as the USPS began a study into the Easton AMP consolidation.
In October, Senator Mikulski introduced the Save our Postal Worker Jobs Act – legislation which would allow the Postal Service to use its own overpaid pension funds to meet retiree health obligations and save thousands of jobs.
Last summer, Postmaster General Donahoe’s predecessor, John Potter, agreed to delay the final decision on the Easton AMP consolidation study until 2011. The agreement came in response to a July 15, 2010 letter to Postmaster General Potter signed by Senators Mikulski and Cardin, as well as former Rep. Frank Kratovil, which shared the delegation’s concerns about the lack of public input in the process the USPS used to determine Easton AMP’s closure. At that time, the Postmaster General agreed that the public would be allowed to have more input into the process, including additional public hearings, should consolidation continue to be pursued as an option by Mr. Donahoe’s administration.