Rep. Rick Larsen, WA-02, issued the following statement today after the U.S. Postal Service announced that it is moving forward with its plan to close up to 140 distribution facilities, including the Everett Area Mail Processing Facility which serves residents in Snohomish, Skagit, Whatcom, Island and San Juan counties.
"Outrageous. I oppose the Postal Service's misguided decision to move forward with the closure of distribution facilities, including the Everett Area Mail Processing Facility," Larsen said. "I am not convinced that the closure of the Everett facility and consolidation of mail distribution will save the Postal Service money. It will certainly hurt service for tens of thousands of Northwest Washington residents, and those costs have not been adequately considered."
Larsen sent a letter to U.S. Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe today urging him to reverse the decision. The text of that letter is below. Larsen is a cosponsor the Postal Service Protection Act of 2011 (H.R. 3591) which would help the Postal Service by eliminating the pre-funding requirements of the retirement benefits fund while placing restrictions on the closure of postal facilities and reducing services.
"The postal workers in Everett deserve a full and fair consideration of these issues before the Postal Service moves forward," Larsen added. "The Postal Service clearly must take steps to address its budget shortfall. But it should work with Congress as we develop legislation to make sure we keep high-quality mail service instead of moving ahead with drastic closures.
"I know how important local, efficient next-day delivery is to people across Northwest Washington. I have been fighting to keep service at many of our rural post offices, and I am working with my colleagues to pass legislation that both ensures the financial footing of the postal service while preserving the mail service that so many Northwest Washington residents and businesses rely on."
The text of Larsen's letter to the Postmaster General is as follows:
May 17, 2012
The Honorable Patrick R. Donahoe
Postmaster General and Chief Executive Officer
United States Postal Service
475 L'Enfant Plaza SW
Washington DC 20260-0010
I urge you to reverse the Postal Service's recent decision to move forward with closures of distribution facilities, including the Everett Area Mail Processing Facility.
I reiterate my great concern about the impact the consolidation would have on residents and businesses in Northwest Washington. The consolidation of services at this facility could end efficient mail turnaround for hundreds of thousands of my constituents in Snohomish, Skagit, Whatcom, Island and San Juan counties, and would be a blow to the high standards of the United States Postal Service.
I am not convinced that the closure of the Everett Area Mail Process Facility is financially sound. The decision does not adequately consider the added costs of processing the mail at another facility, nor do they consider the costs of maintaining the facility as a hub or for other uses.
As you know, there are more than 300 employees at the Everett Area Mail Processing Facility who manage more than 1 million pieces of mail each day. Consolidation at this facility will mean that many of these dedicated workers will lose their jobs or have to relocate.
I ask that you reconsider closing, or at least postpone the closure, of the Everett facility as Congress continues to consider legislation that will help restore the Postal Service's financial footing while maintaining high quality service for my constituents in Northwest Washington.
Washington State, 2nd District