Letter to Patrick R. Donahoe, Postmaster General


By:  Judy Chu
Date: May 31, 2012
Location: Washington, DC

The Honorable Patrick R. Donahoe
Postmaster General
U.S. Postal Service
475 L'Enfant Plaza, SW
Washington, DC 20260-0010

Dear Postmaster General Donahoe,

We write to again express our strong opposition to consolidating Pasadena's Mack Robinson Processing and Distribution Center (P&DC) and the City of Industry P&DC. On May 18, 2012, you notified us that the Mack Robinson P&DC is one of 48 facilities where you will be conducting "limited consolidation activity" this summer. Your plan then calls for fully closing the Pasadena P&DC in early 2013 and later closing the Industry P&DC in a second wave of consolidations.

Consolidating either of these facilities would have dramatic and dire consequences for our constituents, area businesses, and postal workers. The first step in your plan -- the so-called "limited consolidation" of the Mack Robinson P&DC -- is extremely troubling. Out of approximately 270 employees, you plan on sending 128 clerks and 44 mail handlers to the Los Angeles P&DC. Another 37 maintenance employees would be sent to work at a Santa Clarita installation. Removing these workers from the Mack Robinson P&DC is not a limited consolidation -- it is gutting the very core of the facility and would destroy its mail processing capacity, thereby delaying mail deliveries throughout the area. We believe Congress must have an opportunity to address the Postal Service's finances through comprehensive legislation before you move ahead with these crippling cuts. The Senate has already passed their bill, S. 1789, with bipartisan support. It would be improper for USPS to proceed with such far-reaching decisions before Congress has a chance to make necessary reforms to the Postal Service.

Moreover, we do not see how the two gaining facilities in Mack Robinson's "limited consolidation" can accommodate so many new workers, even when considering how early retirement offers may reduce the number of employees. We demand that you provide us with the current number of vacant positions that are now available in these gaining facilities and provide us with clear answers as to what will happen to these workers.

The stakes are incredibly high not only for the hundreds of postal workers who will be displaced and see their livelihoods threatened, but it will harm Southern California's economy as a whole. The communities we are privileged to represent are recovering from one of the toughest economic downturns in generations. Both the Pasadena area and the City of Industry are bustling centers of commerce and their businesses need timely and reliable mail deliveries to succeed. We are at a critical juncture with the nation's economic recovery and moving ahead with these consolidations will make these businesses less competitive.

Moreover, it is also very troubling to consider how even the "limited" consolidation of the Mack Robinson facility alone may affect our constituent's voting rights as the general election quickly approaches. 41.6% of all California voters cast their ballots by mail in the 2008 general election, and California Secretary of State Debra Bowen has expressed her grave reservations on how mail processing facility closures may adversely affect voters. Indeed, after three USPS mail processing centers were closed in California last year, ballots sent in by mail took up to seven days to arrive at county election offices. We believe your phased-in schedule for consolidating mail processing facilities in of itself demonstrates the challenge of shutting down mail processing centers at this critical time, as you admit there will be no "consolidation activities" for mail processing centers between September 1, 2012 and December 31, 2012 because of "…heightened mail volumes predicted for the election and holiday mailing seasons…"

We believe Congress must come to your aid and help right USPS finances -- but moving ahead with these severe cuts now would impose far-reaching hardships on our constituents before a more reasonable solution could be found. We request a prompt reply to our concerns and to meet with you personally to discuss this situation before you proceed any further.

We look forward to hearing from you.


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