Wednesday, November 3, 2010

USPS 'Honors' Sen. Byrd With Plant Consolidations

To understand how Congressional leaders exert influence over the supposedly independent U.S. Postal Service, consider the agency’s mail-processing centers in West Virginia.

As long as the late Sen. Robert C. Byrd, sometimes known as the Prince of Pork, ruled the Senate Finance Committee, the 11 mail-processing centers in his home state were safe. Though West Virginia had more such centers per capita than nearly any other state, the Postal Service’s efforts to consolidate its processing network somehow bypassed the Mountain State.

But all that has changed in the past five months, during which the Postal Service’s AMPS (Area Mail Processing Studies) program has hit the Mountain State with full force.

With Byrd on his deathbed, the Postal Service announced AMPS in June to consider shifting work from the Huntington and Beckley facilities to Charleston, WV. Just four days after Byrd died on June 28, USPS moved the processing of mail originating in ZIP codes beginning with 260 from Wheeling to Pittsburgh.

And last month, USPS announced another possible out-of-state shift – of mail processing from the Martinsburg Customer Service Mail Processing Center to the Suburban Maryland Processing and Distribution Center near Washington, DC.

Most, but not all, AMPS result in some form of consolidation – and, for some employees, a transfer on relatively short notice to another processing facility 100 or more miles away. The good news for Huntington workers is that Charleston is “only” 54 miles away; the bad news is that such proximity makes Huntington ripe for consolidation.

Because West Virginia’s mail is divided up among so many “Byrd droppings” – mail-processing facilities that each serve an unusually small number of customers -- mailers rarely dropship into the state. (USPS: Clean Up the Byrd Droppings! explores this in more depth.)

Consolidating more of the state’s handling of destinating mail into the Charleston P&DC could make it a more viable dropship location. That would save mailers and the Postal Service money and bring Charleston some work now performed by such out-of-state network distribution centers as Pittsburgh and Cincinnati.

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sandy said...

The time is now for postal employees and the American people to bombard Congressional leaders with letters of disapproval. The PO is doing all the wrong things to save money. Closing offices where the customers buy postal products, and drastically cutting the jobs of employees who actually touch the mail, is not the answer. The work situation at every station and branch is deplorable. Even postmasters are short staffed and overworked. The PO wants to rid themselves of all career employees and hire temps, with very little training and very low pay. We must let our leaders know that the real drain on postal finances is the greed of the top executives. They have been living quite a comfortable life at our expense. {no I don't mean tax dollars}. They have been lying to all of us for years. Check out how many lawsuits there are against the PO and Potter. With Donahoe replacing him, things will not change.
we have to be proactive and let our leaders know that we have had enough. I also wanted to mention that any and all "studies" the PO does are inaccurate and inarticulate. I am always grateful to The Dead Tree, thank you for getting the word out.

Anonymous said...

Shut the USPS down.