I am writing about the residential and business customers of the Youngstown and surrounding areas in light of the recent announcement that the United States Postal Service will be going down to five-day delivery of letter mail and the consolidation of mail processing plants. Five-day delivery would delay the timely processing and delivery of the mail.
Locally, Youngstown Area Local 443 of The American Postal Workers Union has been notified that on or around Feb. 23 of this year, all of our collection and cancellation mail will be taken out of the Youngstown facility and will be processed in Cleveland. The union was also notified that in about a year, the Youngstown plant will be closed.
Instead of letting postal workers process the first-class business mail, the mail is being contracted out to presort houses to do the work that the employees of the Youngstown plant have always done in the past. Once our collection mail goes to Cleveland to be processed, it could be weeks before the mail is processed. This is a disservice to both residential and business customers. The post office is on a downward spiral to destruction, and the road to privatization is in the near future.
The American Postal Workers Union President Cliff Guffey has issued the following statement:
"The APWU condemns the Postal Service's decision to eliminate Saturday mail delivery, which will only deepen the agency's congressionally-manufactured financial crisis.
"The USPS has already begun slashing mail service by closing 13,000 post offices or drastically reducing hours of operation, shutting hundreds of mail processing facilities, and downgrading standards for mail delivery to America's homes and businesses. The effects are being felt in cities and towns across the country.
"USPS executives cannot save the postal service by tearing it apart. These across-the-board cutbacks will weaken the nation's mail system and put it on a path to privatization.
"Congress has the power to restore the USPS to financial stability. To do so, it must repeal provisions of the 2006 law that created the postal service's financial crisis.
"The agency's crisis is a direct result of an unsustainable congressional mandate that was imposed on the postal service by the Postal Accountability and Enhancements Act (PAEA). The federal law forces the postal service to prefund health care benefits for future retirees and to do so in a 10-year period. No other entity-public or private-bears this burden.''
Most of the blame results from a Congress that will not act to correct the problems that are facing the United State Postal Service. They just want to watch the post office self-destruct and then maybe, just maybe, they might move to do something. Congress made this mess; Congress can fix it.
I am urging that each and every customer of the United States Postal Service contact their legislators, either by phone or mail, to voice their concerns and help save America's postal service.
Editor, The Dispatcher