After months of speculation surrounding a large-scale consolidation study, the US Postal Service announced today it will accept the bulk of its recommendations. The result: Up to 35,000 jobs lost if USPS goes through with downsizing.
The study considered the possibility of consolidating 264 of the Postal Service’s 461 processing centers. Today, Emily Stephenson at Reuters reports, the USPS confirmed it will “close or consolidate 223 mail processing centers:”
“Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe has said the agency needs to reduce $20 billion in annual costs by 2015. Moving processing away from the 223 centers would reduce operating costs by $2.6 billion annually, according to the Postal Service’s website.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.”
The two New Hampshire centers on the list, in Manchester and Nashua, were among 35 the study rejected for consolidation. Six more facilities were marked for further study, including Brockton in Massachusetts.
Stephensons’ report continues:
“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.”
She writes the USPS also wants to streamline its operation by shuttering “thousands of post offices.” Stephenson also notes that there’s disagreement in Congress about whether Postmaster General Donahoe should actually go through his plans for cutting the USPS’ costs.