Postal Service weighs infrastructure cuts

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The U.S. Postal Service said Sept. 15 that it is considering cutting its processing-facilities network by more than half and adjusting service standards to save up to $3 billion a year. However, the USPS also said the changes would also result in longer processing and delivery times for the mail.

The Postal Service said it is studying whether to close or consolidate up to 250 postal facilities and reduce mail processing equipment by as much as 50%. The changes would shrink the organization's workforce size by as many as 35,000 positions.

The USPS also said in a statement that the delivery service standard would be lengthened to two-to-three days, from the current one-to-three days.

“With the dramatic decline in mail volume and the resulting excess capacity, maintaining a vast national infrastructure is no longer realistic,” said Postmaster General and CEO Patrick Donahoe. “Since 2006, we have closed 186 facilities, removed more than 1,500 pieces of mail processing equipment, decreased employee complement by more than 110,000 through attrition, and reduced costs by $12 billion.”

The USPS has repeatedly warned that it could become insolvent in coming months without congressional intervention. Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) have both proposed postal reform bills in this Congress.

Last month, the Postal Service asked Congress for permission to cut up to 220,000 jobs by 2015, in a move that would shrink its work-related costs by 30%.

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