Bloomington, Two Upstate New York
AMPs Halted; Bronx Study in Limbo
APWU Web News Article #30-07, April 13, 2007
(updated April 17)
The APWU received notice recently that consolidations of mail-processing operations in Watertown and Binghamton, NY, and Bloomington, IN, no longer are being considered, and that the Area Mail Processing study in the Bronx may be on hold.
“After preliminary review, it has been determined that there are currently no significant opportunities to improve efficiency or service through consolidation of mail processing operations" in Watertown [PDF] and Binghamton [PDF], Postal Service management wrote in April 13 and April 17 letters. “Therefore, no changes will be made at this time.”
Similar language appears in a March 23 letter regarding the AMP study in Bloomington [PDF], although the review there is described as “exhaustive” rather than “preliminary.” The prospective Watertown-to-Syracuse and Binghamton-to-Syracuse studies had begun in November 2005; the study of a proposed move of mail processing from Bloomington to Indianapolis began a month later.
The APWU Bloomington Local had worked with elected officials — including Mayor Mark Kruzan — and business leaders to keep the jobs from being shifted to Indianapolis. Kruzan had bemoaned both the possible decline in mail service and the loss of the Bloomington postmark, which he called an important “part of community identity.”
“We couldn’t be happier. It’s everything we fought for,” said Kevin McCaffery, the APWU local’s Maintenance Craft director.
Earlier in March, the New York Daily News reported that Rep. Jose Serrano (D-NY) and community activists were declaring temporary victory after being told that plans to close postal facilities there had been put on hold. Serrano, who represents the South Bronx, had been asked to intervene with the USPS Office of the Inspector General.
The Bronx study proposes that mail from three major processing facilities there be sent into Manhattan for sorting, then trucked back to customers in the Bronx. The study has long been opposed by Bronx community groups, who took part in several boisterous rallies organized by the APWU New York Metro Area Local.
“I understand and take very seriously concerns you voiced regarding this potential consolidation,” Postmaster General John E. Potter wrote to Rep. Serrano. “I requested the Office of Inspector General to perform a thorough review.” (The Postal Service has not confirmed that any decisions have been made on the Bronx AMPs.)
“This will at least give a chance to examine the actual effects” that consolidation would have, Serrano told the DailyNews. “Short of stopping this from happening overnight, this was a good result.”