Closing Time: Postal Service May Cut 35,000 Jobs | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio
Filed Under:

Closing Time: Postal Service May Cut 35,000 Jobs

Play associated audio

Facing a financial crisis, the United States Postal Service announced that 223 processing facilities have been "found feasible for consolidation, all or in part." Of the 264 processing facilities studied, only 35 are set to remain open.

The closings could result in the loss of 35,000 jobs. USPS has posted a full list of the facilities — which process and sort mail on its way to being delivered — on its website.

The postal service said the changes could help it reduce its operating costs by $20 billion by 2015, making the service profitable once more.

In a statement, the USPS explained the financial picture:

"The Postal Service is in the midst of a financial crisis due to the combined effects of the economic recession, increased use of electronic communications, and an obligation to prefund retiree health benefits. First-Class Mail volume has deteriorated, leading to significant revenue declines, and the obligation to prefund these retiree health benefits on an accelerated basis remains unresolved. To date, legislative proposals to address the financial crisis remain pending, leaving the Postal Service and the mailing industry it supports in an increasingly precarious position."

Update at 3:47 p.m. ET. 35,000 Jobs:

The AP and Reuters are reporting that the closings and consolidations could mean the loss of 35,000 jobs. Reuters adds:

"That includes eliminating as many as 30,000 full-time jobs and 5,000 non-career positions, USPS spokesman Sue Brennan said. The agency has gotten rid of about 140,000 jobs in the last five years, mainly through attrition, but still had about 650,000 workers at the end of 2011, according to its first-quarter financial statement.

"None of the facilities would close before mid-May due to a temporary moratorium announced in December that is intended to give Congress time to pass legislation to help overhaul the mail agency."

"The Postal Service, which does not receive taxpayer funds, wants Congress to eliminate an annual payment to prefund retiree health benefits and let it end Saturday mail delivery."

Update at 3:41 p.m. ET. Six Facilities On Hold:

Last week, Patrick Danahoe, the postmaster general, told Congress that his service also needed to raise the price of first-class stamps by 5 cents in order to reach that $20 billion in savings.

USPS says six facilities "are on hold for further internal study."

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Weekend Musher Finds Dogs Keep Her Hanging On

Julia Bayly of Fort Kent, Maine, works as a reporter at the Bangor Daily News. Her passion outside of work is dog sledding. It's the latest installment in our hobby series "Alter Egos."
NPR

A Peace Corps Stint In Madagascar Gave Him A Vision Of Vanilla

The top source of vanilla beans sends its fragrant crop abroad for processing into extract. Now a former Peace Corps volunteer aims to boost Madagascar's economy by building a bean-to-bottle business.
NPR

Rep. Ryan Calls For 'Culture Of Inclusion' To Tackle Poverty

Congressman and former Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan discusses his new book, The Way Forward: Renewing the American Idea.
NPR

New Amazon Series Pilots Fall Short Of A TV Revolution

NPR TV critic Eric Deggans ranks Amazon's new batch of five series pilots, asking why none of them seem break the rules of TV quite enough to draw attention.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.