Thursday, October 30, 2014

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Postal Service Cuts To Lengthen Delivery Time

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As financial problems continue to mount, the U.S. Postal Service announced Monday a series of unprecedented cuts.

The estimated $3 billion in reductions will affect first-class mail and likely eliminate the possibility of next-day delivery for the first time in 40 years.

"The volumes that we have today in our system, but more importantly the volumes that we're projecting for the future, simply can't support the infrastructure, simply can't support the revenue and contributions that this volume is used to pay for," said David Williams of the U.S. Postal Service.

Around half of the nation's mail processing centers would close under the plan, including 13 in New York State.

Delivery standards for first-class mail would then be lowered from one to three days to two to three days.

Three processing centers in the city would close, with operations in Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island absorbed into the Morgan Processing Center in Manhattan.

The processing operation in the Bronx was moved to Morgan in August.

The cuts are also expected to slow down the pace of service overall and could pose a problem for businesses that send check payments, prescription drugs, time-sensitive magazines or even DVDs by mail.

Many New Yorkers who spoke with NY1 say the cuts will definitely be an inconvenience.

"I'm still pretty old school and I still use the mail. I pay some bills online but there's still probably at least half a dozen things that I would use even on a weekly basis," said one New Yorker.

"It's awful. People are depending on getting their checks on a regular basis. It's terrible," said another.

"Stamps keep going up so it's easier for me to just do my banking and everything online," said a third.

The changes are expected to take effect next spring and come in addition to the planned closings of 3,700 local post offices.

In total, 100,000 postal employees are expected to lose their jobs.

The Postmaster General says the agency has to act because Congress has not yet granted it the authority to take other cost cutting measures, including getting rid of Saturday delivery and reducing health care and labor costs.

The price of a first class stamp is set to go up a penny to 45 cents beginning January 22.

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