Postal plant on track for closure

Ken Hill hands a petition to Todd Young's District Office Manager Hal Turner supporting House Bill 1351 during a postal worker rally on Sept. 27. (Photo courtesy Chet Strange, Indiana Daily Student

Bloomington’s mail processing facility is one of 252 plants facing possible closure if a new cost-cutting plan by the U.S. Postal Service comes to fruition.

Fighting bankruptcy, the Postal Service is attempting to save $2.1 billion a year by closing the plants and cutting 280,000 positions by March. The plan could also mean an end to overnight delivery for first class mail, including letters, post cards and bills, even if the sender and recipient are in the same city.

If the Bloomington plant closes, as many as 30 employees could be let go or transferred out of the city, said Ken Hill, president of the National Association of Letter Carriers South Central Indiana Branch 828.

“For some, this transfer could be up to a 50-mile change, which means families would have to move,” Hill said. “That can’t be good for Bloomington.”

The plan comes after a tumultuous year for the Postal Service, which has seen the company face a possible debt default, proposals to close down 37,000 local branches across the country and nation-wide protests by letter carriers.

Some politicians, both Republicans and Democrats, have criticized the plan and Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe.

“This guy, this so-called postmaster general, should be fired because of a lack of any imagination or initiative,” U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., said to Congress Monday. “He’s proposing the death knell for the great United States Postal Service.”

Read the rest of this story at the Indiana Daily Student.