Press Release

Gillibrand, McMahon Statement on Consolidation of Staten Island Mail Sorting Facility

Jul 1, 2009

Island, NY
– Today, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Representative Michael E. McMahon were
informed that the U.S. Postmaster General has decided to close the Manor Road
mail sorting facility and consolidate the distribution operations with those at
the Brooklyn processing and distribution facility.

a letter dated July 1, 2009, USPS District Manager Vito J. Cetta informed Rep.
McMahon that the USPS had decided to close the mail sorting facility after
conducting a feasibility study this spring.  The letter cites increased
productivity and efficiency, in addition to making better use of space and
equipment, as reasons for the consolidation.  Further, the letter informs
that the consolidation is scheduled to be completed by July 20, 2009.

McMahon had received a prior letter, dated June 25, 2009, from USPS Government
Relations Representative Katherine A. Sitterle, wherein Ms. Sitterle stated
that closing the processing operations at the Manor Road facility would save
$1.9 million annually.  The closure of the processing operations,
according to the letter, would cause a net decrease of 26 positions. 
Further, “all reassignments of career employees would be made in accordance
with the collective bargaining agreements with the postal unions.”

response to the July 1, 2009 letter, staff for Sen. Gillibrand and Rep. McMahon
immediately contacted representatives for the USPS to determine the number of
jobs which will be affected and the fate of the Staten Island postmark. 
The lawmakers have not received a response to their inquiries yet.

is very disappointing to see the USPS has decided to close this facility after
only opening a dialogue with the people of Staten Island at the 11th hour,”
said Senator Gillibrand. “It’s wrong for Staten Island and I will continue
to work with Rep. McMahon to ensure that the jobs affected are preserved.”

am very disappointed that the US Post Office has decided to move forward with
its consolidation plans despite the outcry from the community,” said Rep.
McMahon. “The Post Office needs to inform us immediately of the number of
employees on Staten Island who will be affected.  While I understand the
need for businesses to employ new methods of efficiency and productivity to
stay afloat in this economy, that should not be accomplished at the expense of
hard-working, dedicated individuals.  Sen. Gillibrand and I have requested
further documentation explaining the cost savings analysis and proof that the
consolidation will not affect delivery of the mail on Staten Island, but we have
never received this documentation.  Sen. Gillibrand and I will fight to
make sure that the jobs affected will be preserved one way or another. 
Consolidation is the wrong decision, period.  The people of Staten Island
deserve better.”

this year, in a letter to Postmaster General John E. Potter, the lawmakers
cited serious issues the proposed changes may cause, including delays in mail
service, the potential transfer of Postal Service employees who reside in
Staten Island and who would face an arduous commute to work, and the increase
of traffic and pollution created by trucking mail from Staten Island to
Brooklyn for processing then back to Staten Island for delivery. 
Gillibrand and McMahon also requested a meeting with the Postmaster General so
they could personally deliver the concerns of their constituents.

lawmakers’ fight to keep the Manor Road facility open began in February 2009
after Rep. McMahon received a letter from Mr. Fred C. Fischer, President of the
American Postal Workers Union, informing him of the USPS’ spring feasibility
study.  This was in response to a letter sent from the USPS on February
10, 2009 soliciting ways to streamline and improve mail delivery and
efficiency. According to the USPS letter, Mr. Fischer was merely being informed
of the study and if the results supported consolidation, the USPS would then
consider community input.  Upon hearing this news, Sen. Gillibrand and
Rep. McMahon took action to fight to prevent this unnecessary consolidation.