WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) joined U.S. Representatives Steve Chabot (R-OH), and Jean Schmidt (R-OH) wrote to United States Postal Service (USPS) Postmaster General highlight the importance of Cincinnati’s Dalton Avenue mail processing and distribution center. Brown, Chabot, and Schmidt requested detailed criteria used when considering closures and realignments of Ohio mail processing and distribution centers.
“As we seek solutions to the Postal Service’s current financial difficulties, we must strive to ensure that any consolidations, realignments, or restructuring of workforces will not have a negative effect on the level of service being provided to the affected communities,” Brown said. “I will seek assurances that potential changes will neither reduce jobs in Ohio nor degrade the services on which so many Ohioans depend.”
The full text of the letter is below.
October 17, 2011
Patrick R. Donohoe
Postmaster General & CEO
United States Postal Service
475 L’Enfant Plaza, SW
Washington, DC 20260-3500
Dear Postmaster General,
As the United States Postal Service (USPS) considers various options to streamline and consolidate existing operations, we are writing to express our interest in the impact the potential consolidation will have on the several mail processing and distribution centers (P&DC) in Ohio.
We are cognizant that the declining volume of mail and increasing costs require the USPS to make structural changes for both efficiency and solvency. We support your efforts to ensure long term organizational viability, but we are equally concerned that any restructuring maintain the existing quality of service for postal customers and minimize the foreseeable negative impact on postal employees.
Toward those ends, we believe that the area mail processing studies required be performed in an objective and transparent manner. We respectfully request that you provide our offices and the facilities under review with the metrics that will be used in determining the viability of these locations. Public disclosure of the criteria will ensure that all of those impacted in our communities will have the ability to provide the USPS with the most accurate data for an informed decision making process.
We further believe that the stated metrics should reflect both the regional context of the facilities under review and the impact that potential closures would have upon the local economy. Southwest Ohio is an important region of commerce, home to many Fortune 500 companies—all of whom rely on expedient postal services. Any degradation of service caused by facility closures could create serious problems for businesses if there is significant delay in mail delivery.
We are also concerned that closure or realignment of the Cincinnati P&DC located on Dalton Avenue would negatively impact its workforce of up to 2,000 employees. Every effort must be made to mitigate these negative impacts by engaging the union leadership, by keeping the employees fully informed of the decision making process, and, if necessary, by facilitating relocation, early retirement or other appropriate accommodation of displaced employees.
Should the Dalton Avenue facility be considered for closure, we encourage you to tour the facility and meet with local business and labor leaders before a final decision is made. We agree that steps need to be taken to ensure our postal service, though leaner, is capable of delivering essential services for our citizens and businesses. We owe it to our communities to ensure that these difficult decisions be informed ones.
Thank you in advance for your cooperation. We look forward to hearing from you and appreciate your consideration of our concerns.
United States Senator