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USPS speaks about possible merger

May 11, 2011

With a declining mail volume and a financial loss of $8.5 billion during the last two years, the U.S. Postal Service is reviewing all operations to adjust its workforce to match America’s changing communications trends.

The current economic downturn and continued Internet diversion led to a drastic 20 percent decline in mail volume since 2007, resulting in historically large deficits, according to a U.S. Postal Service press release. Even when the economy fully recovers, the Postal Service does not expect mail volume to return to previous peak levels and is projecting annual deficits for the foreseeable future, the press release said.

The Hickory Processing and Distribution Facility is being studied for possible consolidation of some operations into the Greensboro Processing and Distribution Center. The study, known as an Area Mail Processing (AMP) study, involves a review of the mail processing and transportation operations to determine capacity needs at a facility in order to increase efficiency and improve productivity.

If the move is approved:
— Approximately 46 employees will be offered other jobs within the Postal Service. If relocation is required, all specifications in the union’s contract are followed.
— Local post offices will not change. Retail services will remain the same. The Hickory plant processes and sorts mail and does not offer customer retail services.
— Mail will be processed in Greensboro, at a larger facility with high-tech equipment that is under utilized due to the decline in mail volume.
— Mail will be sorted overnight for delivery to Hickory the following morning. The move will not be approved if the study shows it will result in delayed mail to Hickory customers.
— Preliminary results show a $3.5 million savings if mail processing is moved to Greensboro.
— Local postmarks will be available at the post office.
— Business mail acceptance will remain the same.
— Collection box pick up times will remain the same.

In March, Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe announced a newly redesigned postal service, one that is better positioned for growth, reflects further alignment within the organization to achieve core business strategies and, when fully implemented, will help realize approximately $750 million of annual cost savings, the press release stated.

With the redesign 7,500 management, executive and administrative positions were eliminated across the organization.

A final decision on the Hickory AMP has not been made. Comments about the study will be accepted until June 1 and should be submitted to: Consumer Affairs Manager, USPS Greensboro District, PO Box 27499, Greensboro NC 27498–9631.

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