USPS Scraps Western Iowa Consolidation Plan
APWU Web News Article #105-08, Nov. 7, 2008
Almost three years after the Postal Service announced plans to consolidate a western Iowa postal facility’s mail across state lines, the USPS has decided to allow the Sioux City Processing & Distribution Facility to continue with its normal operations.
The Area Mail Processing survey [completed AMP - added 12/18/08 - PDF] in Sioux City was among the first batch of consolidation studies begun in late 2005. There was almost immediate public backlash, with Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) assailing the Postal Service for ignoring “major issues such as the costs the USPS plan will impose on local businesses and possible delays in mail service ... Siouxland residents have a right to know how the proposed consolidation plans will impact their community.”
APWU Sioux City Local officials had been saying that in addition to reducing service, closing the P&DF would have meant the displacement of nearly half of the facility’s 100 workers. The proposed “gaining facility” is 80 miles away, in Sioux Falls, SD.
The local was instrumental in bringing the matter to public attention, staging demonstrations at the city’s main post office on the day Harkin first spoke out on the consolidation, and again several months later during the APWU’s “National Day of Information Picketing.” Local APWU members also pushed for — and were quite vocal at — public meetings on the matter.
APWU President William Burrus said that the cancelled consolidation was business as usual. “It’s the end of yet another Postal Service plan to disproportionately help big corporate special interests such as advertising mailers who presort their mail at the expense of local business owners and citizens.”
Harkin and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) both released statements saying that the Nov. 3 announcement ends a period of uncertainty for Sioux City residents and businesses.
Also on Nov. 3, the Postal Service announced [PDF] that it had abandoned a plan to haul mail from the Aberdeen, SD, Customer Service Mail Processing Center to the Dakota Central P&DC, for automatic processing. The Dakota Central facility is in Huron, about 90 miles south of Aberdeen, which is near the North Dakota line.
The Aberdeen AMP had been announced Dec. 15, 2005. The Sioux City AMP was announced the previous Nov. 15.