DeJoy launches ten-year plan with factory consolidations

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By Bill McAllister, Washington Correspondent

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has ordered the consolidation of 18 mail processing plants to be completed by November, a first step in his 10-year plan to save the United States Postal Service from fiscal ruin.

The 18 changes to the mail processing plant are: Bend, Oregon to Portland; Cape Girardeau, Missouri, in St. Louis; Erie, Pennsylvania, in Pittsburgh; Gainesville, Florida, to Jacksonville; Grand Island, Neb., In Omaha; Grenada, Miss., To Jackson; Hattiesburg, Miss., In Mobile, Ala .; Huntsville, Ala., In Birmingham; Mid-Hudson, NY, to Albany; Minot, ND, to Bismarck; Norfolk, Neb., In Omaha; North Bay, California, Oakland and San Francisco; Paducah, Ky., In Evansville, Indiana; Pocatello, Idaho, to Salt Lake City, Utah; Rock Spring Wyo., Salt Lake City; Seattle East, Washington, to Seattle; Southern, Connecticut, to Hartford; and Wausau, Wisconsin, in Green Bay.

The decision to resume factory consolidations, which the agency halted in 2015 under congressional fire, has been blamed on the continued decline in mail volume.

The consolidations came as the USPS also announced it was taking several steps to avoid being overwhelmed with packages during the 2021 holiday mail season.

The agency’s mail and parcel operations have been stalled in recent months after receiving more letters and packages than it could process.

To avoid a repeat, the USPS announced on April 27 that it is ramping up the installation of 138 parcel sorting machines and leasing 45 additional annexes to handle expected parcel peaks.

Claiming that parcel growth rose 28% in March from levels a year earlier, the Postal Service linked the actions to DeJoy’s controversial Delivering for America plan.

According to the new version of April 27, more package handling equipment is being ordered and no postal worker will face layoffs.

“The future of the postal service depends on its ability to adapt to the changing demands of our customers,” DeJoy said in the press release: “These initiatives and investments give our employees the infrastructure and technology that they need to serve today’s e-commerce market reliably and efficiently. ”

The press release noted that mail volume has declined by 39 billion articles, or 23 percent, over the past 10 years and continues to decline.

First-class mail fell 27% during the same period, and one-piece letters with stamps fell 41%, according to the press release.

DeJoy said his turnaround plan, which requires congressional approval, could avert $ 160 billion in losses to the USPS.

Some members of Congress and the mail industry have criticized DeJoy’s plan, saying he focuses too much on packages and avoids any plans to boost mail.

The American Postal Workers Union attacked DeJoy’s plan to resume the closure of mail processing plants, claiming the idea was “a slap in the face of postal workers.”

“We have made it clear to Postal Management that any further factory consolidation is a misguided strategy that not only disrupts the lives of postal workers, but will further delay mail,” said Mark Dimondstein, president of the American Postal Workers Union. .

“Previous plant closures and consolidations have been a complete failure and we will fight facility by facility and community by community to save these processing plants,” Dimondstein said.

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