Congressman John Carter (R-TX31) is reaching out to Congressional offices around the country in an effort to build a coalition to reverse the shutdown of the South Temple Post Office and similar facilities nationwide.
"At a time when the U.S. Postal Service desperately needs to cut its losses, the shutdown of these privately-owned contract post offices appear to be adding to the red ink, based on the documentation we have received to date," says Carter. "These specific shutdowns are occurring across the country and are opposed by everyone except the postal unions."
Carter met with USPS officials and other House members last week to determine the facts on the case and develop potential remedies to the closings of select contract post offices nationwide by the end of March.
According to USPS, the closings are not part of national cost-cutting efforts to close unprofitable postal offices, but instead are mandated by the 2010-2015 Collective Bargaining Agreement, ratified between the USPS and the American Postal Workers Union on May 23, 2011. The May 23, 2011 labor contract requires the closure or seizure of twenty specified privately-owned postal facilities designated as Contract Postal Units (CPU), including the South Temple facility by March 30 of this year, and the eventual closing of all CPUs. The initial 20 shutdowns were determined on the basis they are located within close proximity of a Main Branch Post Office and offer full-service.
The South Temple Post Office opened in 1992 and averages over $1 million a year in profits for USPS. The facility was built with a million dollar private-sector investment.
USPS is projected to run a $5.1 billion deficit in 2012, and is $14.1 billion in debt. Congressional sources find that union-staffed USPS facilities average 23 cents cost per retail transaction, while CPUs average just 13 cents per transaction using non-unionized labor.
Carter is actively working with U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) to build a coalition of House Members to oppose the closings, and to determine whether USPS can reverse the decision or legislative action is needed.