December 14, 2011

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Postal Service delays facility closure decisions for five months

WASHINGTON – The Stewart Airport and Monsey general mail facilities have a little reprieve from any decision to close them down and consolidate their mail sorting and distribution with other Postal Service operations.

The Postal Service announced Tuesday that it would delay by five months any closing of postal facilities.

US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said while this is not a permanent solution, she is pleased the decision was put on hold for a while. During the moratorium, which ends on May 15, 2012, the Postal Service will continue to study the impact of proposed closures on service and costs and to solicit community input.

Meantime, Congressman Maurice Hinchey (D-NY22) has introduced legislation aimed at alleviating the financial crisis and preventing the layoffs.

 “We need to address the financial concerns of the Postal Service and we need to do it through this legislation so that we can maintain current services through the Post Office, keep rural post offices open and prevent the closure of mail processing facilities, and stop the elimination of jobs; keep those jobs alive”, Hinchey said.  “Those jobs could be 25,000 workers nationwide; that would be in and of itself another catastrophe.”

The legislation would recover overpayments made to its retiree pension funds; establish new ways to generate revenue by allowing non-postal services such as notary services, new medial service and issuance of licenses; creating a blue ribbon commission to provide recommendations on how the Postal Service can generate new revenue; give the Postal Regulatory Commission binding authority to prevent closures based on the effect on the community and employees; and protect six day deliver and protect mail processing facilities by requiring strict standards for delivering first-class mail.

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