The United States Postal Service is putting the brakes on plans to close 89 more mail processing plants and to shutter rural post offices.
Deputy Postmaster General Ron Stroman assured the Senate Homeland Security Committee Jan. 29 that the agency plans to close no more rural post offices.
He told the panel that the USPS had shut all the rural post offices it believed needed closing. He said the Postal Service would continue to limit service hours at some offices, but that it realized the need to have a presence in rural areas.
On Jan. 24, the Postal Service published a notice in the Federal Register that it was postponing a planned second wave of plant closings that would have saved the agency an estimated $1 billion a year.
The notice did not indicate when — or if — the USPS might revive the closing plans.
It did say that the decision also meant postponing additional changes in mail delivery standards that were supposed to be effective Feb. 1.
In Fayetteville, N.C., one of the cities scheduled to lose several hundred jobs in the second phase, the news was welcomed by the local president of the American Postal Workers Union.
Tony D. McKinnon Sr. said most of the city’s mail processing operations remain on the chopping block.
“It’s enormous that they decided not to do it at this point,” McKinnon told the Fayetteville Observer.
“By postponing this, it tells us they are starting to take a closer look at how service standards have deteriorated” as a result of the plan’s first phase, he said.
House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., attacked the plans to slow plant closings, saying that actions had been taken “to appease the avowed opponents of postal reform.
“Relying solely on rate increases will not save the Postal Service from insolvency,” Issa said in a statement.
“Many reformers believe the postal service needs to accelerate cost cutting efforts, not suspend them,” Issa added.
The Postal Service has said it completed consolidating processing at 140 locations in 2013, saving $1 billion in operating costs.
blogIn this column in the Aug. 24 issue of Linn’s, I referred to the American Philatelic Research Library in Bellefonte, Pa., as a “gift to stamp collectors.” The BNAPS library and the APRL are two of many libraries available to stamp collectors, and some philatelic libraries are available online. Read More ›
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Watch as Linn’s Stamp News senior editor Denise McCarty discusses Great Britain’s final stamp issue for 2015, a Star Wars prestige booklet, and reveals what is included in its stamp program for 2016.
Watch as Linn’s Stamp News managing editor Chad Snee discusses a registered 1967 cover from Qatar that recently sold for almost $1,200 and the latest discovery of an Upright Jenny Invert pane.
Watch as Linn’s Stamp News editorial director Donna Houseman announces that Linn’s has been named official daily publisher of World Stamp Show-NY 2016 and provides an update on the reorganization of the Scott catalogs.
Watch as Linn’s Stamp News senior editor Marty Frankevicz reports on the suspension of Canada Post’s cluster box conversion plan after the election of a new prime minister.
It is always a treat to get to see stamp dealers’ own collections.
In the recently concluded Linn’s United States Stamp Popularity Poll, the Circus Posters set of eight stamps was chosen as the overall favorite issue of 2014.
Dispersal of the splendid Daniel B. Curtis collection continued March 25, with Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries gaveling items from United States back-of-the-book and possessions.
The 175th anniversary of the first postage stamp, Great Britain's Penny Black, is May 6, but the stamp was placed on sale May 1, 1840, for mailers to use beginning on May 6, the designated issue date.