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.
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Watch as Linn’s Stamp News senior editor Denise McCarty discusses current events that relate to the stamp hobby, including the relocation of a stamp show in Sweden due to the Syrian refugee crises, and new stamps honoring Pope Francis and the British monarchy.
Watch as Linn’s Stamp News associate editor Michael Baadke talks about a record fifth win for wildlife artist Joseph Hautman in the federal duck stamp art contest, and see the painting that will appear on next year’s federal duck stamp
Watch as Scott catalog senior editor Marty Frankevicz questions Bolivia’s choice for the design of a 2013 stamp honoring the country’s efforts to protect its migrants in foreign lands.
Watch as Linn’s Stamp News managing editor Chad Snee discusses the discovery of the upright Jenny Invert pane received in an order from Stamp Fulfillment Services in Kansas City, Mo., and also reports on the Confederate Stamp Alliance.
It is always a treat to get to see stamp dealers’ own collections.
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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.
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