Cumberland Times-News

Latest news

February 27, 2013

Post office losing sorting facility

Beginning March 23, mail, packages will be sent to Baltimore for processing

CUMBERLAND — All local mail will be making a 272-mile round trip as of March 23, the date Baltimore will start to process area mail and packages, according to Phil Jones, president of the American Postal Workers Union Local 513.

“If you are going to mail a letter to somewhere in town, it will be going to Baltimore first,” said Jones.

With the U.S. Postal Service continuing to lose money at a rate of $25 million per day, the agency is moving rapidly to consolidate and pare down services across the nation, say officials.

For the time being, it will not affect employment here.

However, the aggressive moves by the Postal Service involve plans to further consolidate operations. Jones said the plan is to remove the machinery so all types of mail and package handling will be gone locally by May 2014.

“They want to remove it all. When they start to take our machinery and equipment, which could be in the summer or fall, that’s when things could get tough,” said Jones.

Removal of all processing ability could have a negative effect on the work force level in Cumberland. It could threaten five handlers, six maintenence technicians and 23 clerical positions, according to Jones.

“The only thing that could stop things is if bills in Congress ... get passed to protect things,” said Jones.

The proposed cutbacks would leave the Cumberland area with basically window service, carriers and some unloading help.

The U.S. Postal Service is one of the nation’s largest employers with nearly 600,000 full- and part-time employees.

“They are consolidating all over the U.S. The last year we were profitable was 2006 when we made $800 million,” said Jones.

It’s no coincidence that 2006 happens to be the year Congress passed an act that continues to strap the Postal Service with devastatingly high health care costs seen in no other industry, according to Jones.

In 2006, Congress passed the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, which requires the U.S. Postal Service to pay $5.5 billion annually into a fund to prepay retiree health care costs for 75 years into the future.

Jones said the legislation has been a hardship for the Postal Service.

“They are continuing to make us pay even though there have been two studies done that say it (the fund) is over-funded. We are paying for people who are not even born yet,” said Jones.

 The act, along with the use of the Internet for bill paying and communications, has dealt a hard blow to the U.S. Postal Service coffers.

A decision to halt six-day service by discontinuing Saturday delivery has already been announced by the Postal Service.

The Cumberland Post Office handles mail with ZIP codes that begin with 215 and 267.

“They want to privatize it,” said Jones.

Jones said that despite letter mail being down, package delivery is up 18 percent from last year due to an increase in people ordering from online services and products marketed on television.

“Our package business is booming,” said Jones.

Carriers will not be affected by layoffs since mail delivery to homes and businesses will continue as normal.

 Jones questions the practicality of the changes.

“How is it cost efficient to take the mail 272 miles?” said Jones.

Sean O’Donnell, postmaster for Cumberland, declined to comment.

Efforts to contact public relations representatives for the Baltimore district were unsuccessful.

Greg Larry can be contacted at glarry@times-news.com.

1
Text Only
Latest news
  • Cherry blossoms boost Metro ridership

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Metro says good weather and the cherry blossoms’ peak bloom contributed to high ridership over the weekend.
     

    April 15, 2014

  • Bills to facilitate prison guard investigations

    ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — The governor has signed a series of bills aimed at preventing another corruption scandal like the Black Guerrilla Family case at the Baltimore Jail.
     

    April 15, 2014

  • Student charged at Mineral County Vo-Tech

    KEYSER, W.Va. — Keyser Police responded to the Mineral County Vocational Technical Center on Monday at 10:46 a.m. for an incident in which a 21-year-old student was allegedly thrown into a wall by a 17-year-old student.

    April 15, 2014

  • ‘Electric Road Trip’ features local sites

    CUMBERLAND — A new documentary to premiere on Maryland Public Television on April 23 at 8 p.m. features three Oakland attractions and a Cumberland business.

    April 15, 2014

  • People with old Social Security debts get reprieve

    WASHINGTON (AP) — People with old Social Security debts are getting a reprieve — for now.
    The Social Security Administration had been participating in a program in which thousands of people were having their tax refunds seized to recoup overpayments that happened more than a decade ago.
     

    April 15, 2014

  • 10 things to know for today

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:
     

    April 15, 2014

  • County tax sales scheduled

    CUMBERLAND — Allegany and Garrett County have both scheduled their annual tax sales.

    April 14, 2014

  • Frostburg officer injured by party-goer; 200 people in attendance

    FROSTBURG — A Frostburg Police officer who was attempting to break up a large party early Saturday morning in the area of 38 Paul St. was knocked to the ground by a 19-year-old Baltimore woman and taken to the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center for minor injuries.

    April 14, 2014

  • Garrett sets last day of school as June 17

    OAKLAND — The last day of school for Garrett County public school students will be June 17, the school system announced Monday.

    April 14, 2014

  • FSU planning new campus security facility

    FROSTBURG — Officials at Frostburg State University are moving forward with plans to construct a new public safety building at the school that will be twice the size of the current security facility.

    April 14, 2014

Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge US Supports Ukraine's Efforts to Calm Tensions Suspect in Kansas Shootings Faces Murder Charges Ukraine: Military Recaptures Eastern Airport Raw: Storm Topples RVs Near Miss. Gulf Coast NASA Showcases Lunar Eclipse Pistorius Cries During Final Cross-Examination The Boston Marathon Bombing: One Year Later Michael Phelps Set to Come Out of Retirement First Women Move to Army Platoon Artillery Jobs Sex Offenders Charged in Serial Killings Police: Woman Stored Dead Babies in Garage OC Serial Murder Suspects May Have More Victims Family: 2 Shot in Head at Kan. Jewish Center Raw: Horse Jumping Inspires 'Bunny Hop' After Attack, Officials Kill 5 Bears in Florida Popular Science Honors Year's Top Inventions ND Oil Boom Attracting Drug Traffickers
Facebook
Must Read
House Ads
NDN Video
8-year-old Boy Gets His Wish: Fly Like Iron Man Toddler climbs into vending machine Much-Anticipated 'Gone Girl' Trailer Finally Debuts! (VIDEO) Dog and Toddler Wear Matching Outfits in Adorable Photo Series VP Biden: "World witnesses ordinary citizens doing extraordinary things" It's Official! Michael Strahan Joins "GMA" Blood Moon Time-lapse Actress Lake Bell Goes Topless The Five Weirdest Local Taxes in America Applicants Vying for 'World's Toughest Job' Get Heartwarming Surprise Awkward: Crist catches Lt. Gov. insulting him on camera NASA Showcases Lunar Eclipse US Airways Tweets Graphic Photo of Nude Woman Behind the scenes of the Marathon anniversary photo shoot American Airlines Responds After Girl Tweets Alleged Terror Threat 'Joke' Charlie White's "Dancing" Mistake Olympic Great & Baltimore Native Michael Phelps Ends Retirement; Eyes Rio 2014 NFL Draft: Potential Booms And Busts William and Kate Squash Baby No. 2 Rumors With a Wine-Tasting Trip Who Showed Up at Coachella?
NDN Video
8-year-old Boy Gets His Wish: Fly Like Iron Man Toddler climbs into vending machine Much-Anticipated 'Gone Girl' Trailer Finally Debuts! (VIDEO) Dog and Toddler Wear Matching Outfits in Adorable Photo Series VP Biden: "World witnesses ordinary citizens doing extraordinary things" It's Official! Michael Strahan Joins "GMA" Blood Moon Time-lapse Actress Lake Bell Goes Topless The Five Weirdest Local Taxes in America Applicants Vying for 'World's Toughest Job' Get Heartwarming Surprise Awkward: Crist catches Lt. Gov. insulting him on camera NASA Showcases Lunar Eclipse US Airways Tweets Graphic Photo of Nude Woman Behind the scenes of the Marathon anniversary photo shoot American Airlines Responds After Girl Tweets Alleged Terror Threat 'Joke' Charlie White's "Dancing" Mistake Olympic Great & Baltimore Native Michael Phelps Ends Retirement; Eyes Rio 2014 NFL Draft: Potential Booms And Busts William and Kate Squash Baby No. 2 Rumors With a Wine-Tasting Trip Who Showed Up at Coachella?