November 19, 2012

Gillibrand, Schumer Urge U.S. Postmaster General to Postpone Consolidation of Manor Road Mail Processing Facility in Aftermath of Storm

Senators Express Concern Over Consolidation, Request to Delay Decision While Staten Island Recovers from Hurricane Sandy

Staten Island, NY – As Staten Island begins the recovery from Hurricane Sandy that has ravaged the borough and taken more than a dozen lives, U.S. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Charles Schumer today urged the U.S. Postmaster General to postpone the decision to consolidate the Staten Island facility and move mail processing operations to Brooklyn. With more than 80 Staten Island postal workers impacted by reduced operations at Manor Road mail processing facility, which is set to take place in the coming months, the lawmakers expressed concern over economic and environmental consequences, delayed mail service to Staten Islanders, and increased transportation costs and burden placed on residents.

“As Staten Islanders recover from the storm that has destroyed communities across the borough, it is essential that we help relieve undue burdens on Island workers and residents,” said Senator Gillibrand. “I am deeply concerned that removing mail operations from the Staten Island facility while residents recuperate from one of New York’s worst natural disasters would have harmful economic and environmental consequences. Delaying the consolidation of the Manor Road mail processing facility is the right thing to do.”

“As Staten Island residents begin down the road to recovery after Superstorm Sandy, it is crucial for the Postal Service to postpone consolidating the Manor Road Mail facility,” said Senator Schumer. “Moving this facility off Staten Island will impact over 80 employees, possibly delay the delivery of mail and result in economic consequences in a borough that was ravaged by the storm. The last thing Staten Islanders need right now is a consolidation of this mail processing facility and the Postal Service should not move forward with it.”

Earlier this year, the U.S. Postal Service announced decision to shift all Island mail processing operations handled at the Manor Road Post Office to Brooklyn. According to U.S. Postal Service, 60 employees would remain on the Island, 50 employees would be required to move to the Brooklyn mailing facility. An additional 30 plus employees may be dispatched to area postal distribution locations throughout the City. 

The lawmakers requested a postponement to the consolidation plan while Staten Islanders recover from the storm. Senators pointed out that the consolidation process, which moves the mail distribution process from Staten Island to Brooklyn and then returned to Staten Island, is inefficient and traffic delays could result in a significant backlog. Senators also noted that the closure would burden employees who live on Staten Island and who would be required to commute to Brooklyn or other areas throughout the City.

 

Full text of the Senators’ letter is below:

 

Dear Mr. Donahoe,

 

We are writing to you to request a postponement of the proposed consolidation of the Staten Island Processing and Distribution Facility (P&DF). We recognize the precarious financial situation that the United States Postal Service is facing, but are concerned with the potential economic impact of such a consolidation will have on Staten Island, especially in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

 

The main concern we have is how a consolidation would affect the jobs currently at this facility.  It is expected that 83 employees would be impacted.  It is expected that fifty will have to commute from Staten Island to Brooklyn for their new assignments. 

 

Since mail will have to be trucked into Brooklyn to be processed and then back to Staten Island to be delivered, we are concerned with the potential increase in cost and delay in delivery of mail.  Traffic and the environment will be affected as this more inefficient process is implemented.   

 

While we do understand the need for the USPS to utilize operational efficiencies and seek ways to reduce cost, we ask that you consider postponement of the Staten Island P&DF’s consolidation while the Island recovers from extreme natural disaster.  The potential effect may be more harmful to the community.  Thank you for your consideration.