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March 28, 2013

Postal Service still delivers high level of service

I would like to comment on the March 20 article (“Postal workers rally to protest change in mail; urge Americans to ‘get active, rise up,’” Page 1B) by U.S. Postal Service workers at the Cumberland Customer Service Mail Processing Center (CSMPC) who gathered to protest the consolidation of mail processing operations from Cumberland to the Baltimore processing center and to show support against moving Martinsburg, W.Va., mail processing operations to Baltimore.

First-class mail usage by the American public has declined considerably since 2006 due to electronic diversion such as email and on-line bill payment.

In fact, the Postal Service is handling 25 percent less first-class mail and the lost revenues associated with this mail.

The protesters suggest that fixing the retiree health benefits prefunding issues alone would solve all of the financial woes of the Postal Service.

While it is true the prefunding obligation has resulted in a severe financial strain to postal operations and must be addressed legislatively, it is not the only encumbrance.

Americans have told us with their purchasing choices how they wish to use their postal system.

Again, first-class mail volumes continue to decline exponentially.

Taking no action or maintaining the status-quo is not a viable solution in the changing environment.

The Postal Service developed the new delivery schedule (six days for packages, five days for mail) by working with customers to understand their delivery needs, and by identifying creative ways to generate significant cost savings.

This new delivery schedule reflects the strong growth of our package business, and responds to the financial realities resulting from America’s changing mailing habits.

Regarding the consolidation, we have worked closely with these employees to help them find jobs and, as always, all reassignments are made in accordance with our collective bargaining agreements.

The Postal Service has a proven track record of working with affected employees.

In fact, the Postal Service has reduced over 193,000 career positions since 2006 without any layoffs.

Mail service will not be delayed as stated in the article.

As a matter of fact, mail for ZIP Code 210-219 will be upgraded to overnight, and local mail ZIP Code 215 collected in ZIP Code 215 will be delivered the next day, the same with ZIP Code 217.

Despite a widely held view, the Postal Service is not federally subsidized.

Our operating expenses are strictly covered from the sales of our products and services.

The Postal Service has a comprehensive business plan that addresses our financial challenges through revenue growth programs, process improvements, eliminating excess mail processing capacity, and other actions to address underutilized assets as well as improve operational efficiencies.

Since 2006. the Postal Service has consolidated more than 200 mail processing facilities nationwide and reduced our annual cost base by approximately $15 billion.

During these unprecedented initiatives, the Postal Service continued to deliver record high levels of service to its customers.

The Postal Service is simply taking a responsible and reasonable step toward returning the organization to financial stability.

Darryl Martin, district manager

Baltimore District, U.S. Postal Service

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