House Members Seek Moratorium on USPS Plans to Close Post Offices
Over 100 members of the House of Representatives have signed a letter to Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe asking him to place a moratorium on plans to consolidate thousands of post offices “until the USPS resolves the numerous problems” identified by the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) in a Dec. 23, 2011, advisory opinion. The Feb. 13 letter was initiated by Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY).
The PRC report blasted the USPS “Retail Access Optimization Initiative,” concluding that the Postal Service lacks sufficient data to predict cost savings from proposed closures; engages in a pattern of inaccurate and overly optimistic estimation of savings; fails to adequately consider whether alternate post offices are located near those targeted for closure, and displays a careless disregard for community concerns.
“The primary commission finding,” as stated in the report, “is that notwithstanding its name, the Retail Access Optimization Initiative is not designed to optimize the retail network.”
In the letter to Postmaster General, 111 members of the House wrote, “We strongly urge you to rectify these issues within the RAOI before proceeding with any discontinuance studies. The closure of Post Offices, stations, and branches will undoubtedly affect communities and lead to the loss of middle-class jobs.
“We remain dedicated to protecting our nation’s postal service and ensuring that all communities are adequately served by the USPS,” the congressmen concluded.
APWU President Cliff Guffey praised the effort to secure a moratorium in saying, “The APWU looks forward to working with members of Congress to strengthen the Postal Service so that it can continue to serve the American people.”