Crowley Calls on USPS to Keep Queens Postal Facility Open

Dec 20, 2011 Issues: In the Community

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Rep. Joe Crowley (Queens, the Bronx) announced that he has sent a letter to the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) protesting the possible closure of the Queens Processing and Distribution Center, a move that would put at risk 1,000 jobs and significantly impact mail service to Queens residents and businesses.

“At a time when New Yorkers, like all Americans, are struggling during these difficult times, relocating or possibly laying-off the approximately 1,000 workers at this facility could be devastating to the local economy,” writes Crowley in a letter to Frank Calabrese, manager of the Triboro District.

In addition to the potential for significant job loss and the negative impact on the local economy, Crowley expressed concern about the likelihood of mail service delays for Queens residents and businesses. If USPS closes the Queens Processing Center, all mail processing will be consolidated at the Brooklyn facility, resulting in only one mail processing facility to serve more than four million New Yorkers – or the equivalent to the second largest city in the country. 

Crowley, along with postal employees and members of the community, recently held a rally against the closure of the Queens Processing Center. Crowley is a co-sponsor of USPS Pension Obligation Recalculation and Restoration Act (H.R. 1351), legislation that will free the Postal Service from pre-paying its pension obligations in an effort to alleviate the financial burden facing the Postal Service.

“Solutions to USPS’s financial issues can be found without forcing employees and communities to bear the brunt of the burden, and I want to work with you and my colleagues in Congress to find ways to avoid these kinds of cuts and closures,” continues Crowley.

Citing financial issues, USPS recently announced it will undertake a study of 252 mail processing centers nationwide to consider closings and consolidations. The Queens facility is among those on the list. Since this announcement, the USPS said it will delay the closure or consolidation of these facilities until May 2012, however USPS will continue the review process during this time.

The full text of Rep. Crowley’s letter to USPS is below:

December 19, 2011

Frank Calabrese

Manager

Triboro District

1050 Forbell Street

Brooklyn NY 11256-9621

Dear Manager Calabrese:

I wish to express my strong opposition to the United States Postal Service’s (USPS) proposal to close the Queens Processing and Distribution Center (P&DC) located in Whitestone, NY.

At a time when New Yorkers, like all Americans, are struggling during these difficult times, relocating or possibly laying-off the approximately 1,000 workers at this facility could be devastating to the local economy. Not only will the employees and their families, many of whom live in Queens, be subject to a trying financial uncertainty, the small businesses in Whitestone, who rely on these workers to patronize their stores on a daily basis, will also lose a significant portion of their business.

Furthermore, closing the Queens P&DC will reduce the services needed by Queens residents. By transferring all services to the Brooklyn P&DC, residents will likely experience longer delivery times, while businesses that rely on the facility for bulk mailing services will be severely inconvenienced. To put this in perspective, by consolidating all mail processing in Brooklyn and Queens there will be only one mail processing facility available to serve more than 4 million New Yorkers – the equivalent size of the second largest city in the country. 

Solutions to USPS’s financial issues can be found without forcing employees and communities to bear the brunt of the burden, and I want to work with you and my colleagues in Congress to find ways to avoid these kinds of cuts and closures. For example, I believe we must provide USPS with greater flexibility to offer new and innovative services that will keep this treasured institution relevant and financially sound into the future.  In addition, I support the USPS Pension Obligation Recalculation and Restoration Act, which if passed by the U.S. Congress will free USPS from the undue and onerous requirement of having to prepay its pension requirements.

While I understand USPS must make difficult decisions, I am optimistic we can work together to find solutions that will avoid the closure of much-needed, local facilities. I am encouraged USPS recently announced a moratorium on new facility closures, and I am hopeful the Queens P&DC can be spared from its current proposed fate. The facility is far too important to the community.

Thank you and I look forward to your response.

 

Sincerely,

Joseph Crowley

Member of Congress

 

Congressman Crowley is the seven-term representative from the 7th Congressional District of New York, which includes sections of Queens and the Bronx. He is a member of the powerful Ways and Means Committee and serves as a Chief Deputy Whip in the House of Representatives.