U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-Queens/L.I.) today announced that he has sent a letter to the United States Postal Service (USPS) urging the agency not to eliminate any mail operations from the Queens Processing and Distribution Center in College Point, Queens. The Postal Service has proposed moving some of the facility's operations to the USPS Processing Center in Brooklyn, a move that would cut 702 jobs in Queens and adversely affect Postal service throughout the borough.
"While I understand the USPS must make difficult decisions to confront its current fiscal condition," Ackerman wrote to Frank Calabrese of USPS's Triboro District "I urge you to reconsider a decision that would negatively impact the entire Queens community."
The letter was presented to Calabrese during the public meeting the USPS held on the plan this past Friday night in the auditorium of Bayside High School. It was also read aloud, and received an overwhelmingly positive response by the packed crowd. The text of the letter is enclosed below. Click here for a hard copy of the letter. The Queens Processing and Distribution Center is located at 140-02 20th Avenue.
Frank J. Calabrese
Manager, Consumer and Industry Contact
1050 Forbell Street
Brooklyn, NY 11256-9621
Dear Mr. Calabrese
I am writing to express my strong opposition to the United States Postal Service's (USPS) proposed elimination of some mail operations from the Queens Processing and Distribution Center in College Point --- Queens is the 2nd most populous county in New York State. While I understand the USPS must make difficult decisions to confront its current fiscal condition, I urge you to reconsider a decision that would negatively impact the entire Queens community. If the USPS carried out this proposal, 702 jobs would be lost from the Queens community during difficult economic times. Postal service to my constituents and Queens residents wouldalso be adversely affected.
Shifting the mail-processing responsibilities of the Queens Center to outside the borough to Brooklyn would reduce the accessibility to a vital postal facility that tens of thousands of my constituents rely upon for efficient and predictable mail delivery. Moving processing operations would also decrease the high level of customer service that New Yorkers have come to expect from the USPS through the streamlined delivery made possible in good measure by the Queens Distribution Center. Businesses and organizations that send bulk mail would be particularly impacted as collection times would be earlier, while drop off times would be later. Mail would also likely be sorted more slowly and large mailings would no longer have a reliable drop-off location in the same geographic area they are being sent.
Instead of forcing Queens residents into accepting an unsatisfactory level of service, there are other options that Congress is considering to ease the financial burdens of the USPS. We must fight instead for measures I support that would allow the USPS to be more flexible in its business practices and pricing structure, and legislation that would relieve the burdens of prefunding retiree health costs. I accept that changes are needed to allow the USPS to continue functioning, but the closing of a viable facility should not be one of them. The large loss of jobs would not only devastate the hard-working postal workers themselves, but would have negative consequences for the local businesses and individuals that are dependent on reliable postal service in Queens.
Many postal workers, constituents and businesses have contacted my office and conveyed to me the hardships that service reductions would have on them. I strongly urge you to keep the current functions of the Queens facility in place.
Thank you for your consideration of this matter.
GARY L. ACKERMAN