The United States Postal Service (U.S.P.S.) delivered its final notice to a Queens mail processing center.
Finalizing the U.S.P.S.’s decision to close the College Point Processing and Distribution Center, Triboro district manager Frank J. Calabrese sent a letter to Robert Yaccarino, president of the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) Flushing Local #2286, informing him there would be consolidations among facilities throughout the area, including the College Point location.
“It is projected that these consolidations will result in significant savings for the Postal Service,” wrote Calabrese in the letter. “Some affected career employees may be reassigned to other vacant positions. Reassignments will be made in accordance with the collective bargaining agreement.”
The facility, located on 20th Avenue in College Point, currently has over 1,000 workers.
“Rather than take advantage of the time that has been bought for U.S.P.S. by Congress in a recent moratorium on post office closures, the U.S. Postal Service has decided to finalize their plans to shut down this facility,” said Senator Toby Ann Stavisky. “This is like governmental ‘Jeopardy’ – the U.S. Postal Service has the answers before we’ve asked the questions.”
Stavisky recently filed an appeal with the Postmaster General regarding the U.S.P.S.’s rejection of her request for records concerning the center’s impending closure. According to Stavisky’s office, the request, submitted in December, 2011, fell under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). It was consequently denied.
“They have refused my and my community’s requests for more information and more time to study the closure before executing it,” said Stavisky. “This will be devastating to our neighborhood, and many of my constituents’ livelihoods will be in peril. We deserve better, but U.S. Postal Service seems to make bad decisions first, and ask questions later.”
According to Stavisky’s office, the documents requested by the senator detail a feasibility study conducted by the U.S.P.S. to determine the impact that shutting down the institution would have on service in a particular area. The U.S.P.S. cited FOIA’s “Exemption Five” as reason to withhold records, stating that they refused to release the data because, at the time, a final decision had not yet been made in regards to the facility’s potential finality.
The College Point processing center’s closure is part of nationwide consolidation program currently occurring throughout U.S.P.S. branches.
In December, a spokesperson from the U.S.P.S. told The Courier that they needed to reduce their costs by $20 billion by 2015, in order to return to financial profitability.
According to a representative from Stavisky’s office, the center will officially cease operations on May 14.