USPS Cuts Jobs
February 27, 2012 by staff
USPS Cuts Jobs, The U.S. Postal Service announced on Thursday new plans to consolidate or close 223 mail processing plants, putting 35,000 jobs at stake starting in late May or June.
The processing plant consolidations would save $2.1 billion and are a part of the agency’s broader effort to save $20 billion in the next three years. The Postal Service is in debt due to declining first-class mail volumes and a congressional mandate to prefund retirement health care benefits.
The agency began reaching out to impacted employees on Wednesday, officials said.
Not all impacted workers will lose their jobs; many will be offered jobs at other processing plants miles away or even in other states and some will be urged to retire.
This is an important part of the network consolidation,” Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said in an interview with CNNMoney. “Some employees will retire. A mail clerk may want to become a letter carrier. We know how to move people and find landing spots.”
The plant consolidations are the latest in an array of controversial cost-cutting measures under consideration at the Postal Service including:
slashing Saturday service
delaying delivery of some first-class mail
closing post offices
hiking the price of a first-class stamp by a nickel to 50 cents
The Postal Service said that if nothing is done, it faces $18 billion in losses by 2015, but it can’t close anything until May 15, after the moratorium on closures ends.
The agency originally agreed to the moratorium to give lawmakers time to pass legislation to save the agency. But so far, those efforts have been slow going.
Donahoe said he would like to complete most of the consolidations, including job cuts and changes to 30,000 full-time positions and 5,000 non-career employees, by Oct. 1.
Nearly every state is impacted and would lose a mail processing plant, according to the Postal Service list, which includes 14 in California, 12 in New York and 9 in Illinois.
Mail processing plant closures can yield a particularly devastating toll on communities. A plant in Tulsa, Okla., slated to be consolidated, employs nearly 600 employees.
System wide, the Postal Service employs 150,000 employees at 461 mail processing facility plants.
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