U.S. Postal Service leaders gave members of Congress some of what they wanted with today’s announcement that widespread post office closures are off the table. But what about plans to shutter or consolidate almost half of some 460 mail processing plants?
Wait until next Thursday for word on that, Postmaster General Pat Donahoe said at a news conference this morning. That’s two days after the Postal Service’s voluntary freeze on any plant closings expires. Although many lawmakers want that moratorium to be extended, the Postal Service will go forward, Donahoe said in a brief interview after the conference.
Although no wholesale closures are immediately in the works, “we’ll have some consolidations in the summer, the majority after the first of the year.” Donahoe said. “From a fiscally responsible standpoint, we have to move ahead on this. We’ve lost too much [mail]volume and we have to address the infrastructure.”
The final plans, though, are still being hammered out, said Donahoe, who declined to say whether the Postal Service will offer buyouts or early retirement incentives to processing plant workers. The agency has scheduled an announcement for next Thursday, May 17.
Tomorrow, incidentally, the Postal Service will reveal its second quarter financial results covering the three-month period from January through March. Both operating revenues and expenses will show a little improvement, Donahoe said, “but we’re still losing volume.”