Senators urge U.S. Postal Service to delay consolidation plans

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) was among a bipartisan group of 30 U.S. Senators who asked the United States Postal Service (USPS) on Monday to delay a planned consolidation of its processing facilities.

In a letter sent to USPS Inspector General Patrick R. Donahoe, the lawmakers said the impact of the plan has not been adequately studied. They also claimed the Postal Service failed to inform the public of those potential impacts to mail delivery. The USPS has consolidated 143 processing facilities since 2012 because of declining mail volumes and announced plans to consolidate 82 more in June.

“There is no reason that the USPS cannot delay its consolidations to provide time for the public to see and comment on the service standard worksheets,” the letter reads. “It is only fair to allow the process to unfold in this way, and the USPS gains little by deciding to continue the consolidation process on its current, arbitrary timeline.”

A recent story in the Washington Post reported that civil rights organizations are also calling for the USPS to reconsider its plan to consolidate the facilities, saying it affects a disproportionate number of African-American employees. The USPS was the largest employer of African-Americans in the 1960s and continues to pay wages that are two-thirds higher than the average weekly wage for all African-American workers.