USPS closure won't only affect Queens
Dec 15, 2011 | 2304 views | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
We all know that the Post Office isn't quite the information hub that it once was. As more and more of us transition to the Internet for everything from keeping in touch with our friends and family to banking and paying bills to shopping, the United States Postal Service doesn't quite hold the prominent position in American society that it once did.

That is evident in the economic struggles that the Postal Service is facing. It's one of the few - if not the only - government agency that doesn't actually receive government funding. Instead, it is left to fend - or rather fund - for itself.

Plus, the postal service has competition from big private companies like Federal Express and UPS, something that most government agencies don't have to deal with.

This is why post offices across the city are closing, and why the price of stamps is steadily increasing, although at $.44 it's still quite the bargain.

While the USPS may becoming increasingly irrelevant, it's still an important service. Many people still rely on mail service when it comes to receiving their bank statements, paying their mortgages and credit card bills, and receiving important information about their health care.

But now the USPS is considering closing a major processing and distribution facility in Queens. If that happens, all mail for Queens, Brooklyn, and Staten Island will be processed at a facility in Brooklyn. With the increased workload, the delivery of mail will not only be affected in Queens, but in the other two boroughs as well.

The quick delivery of mail that we have become accustomed to will inevitably slow. That means that your credit card or mortgage payment might not reach its intended destination on time, and we all know the exorbitant late fees that banks and credit card companies charge these days.

Unfortunately, this will likely affect the most economically vulnerable, as they are often the ones who are living paycheck to paycheck and are paying their bills just days before the due date to stretch their already-taut budgets.

But forget the inconveniences to the general populous. The closure of the facility will also mean that an estimated 1,000 employees will lose their jobs. If you or a family member doesn't work at the Queens facility, you might feel sympathy for those workers, but probably won't think about it much more than that.

But under the provisions of the union contract, senior workers at the facility will be reassigned to position within the USPS, meaning that a worker at the Queens facility with seniority could take the job of someone in Brooklyn or Manhattan or elsewhere with fewer years on the job.

The closure of the Queens Processing and Distribution Center should worry people across the city, as we'll all be impacted. The United States Postal Service needs to take a good har look at those impacts before deciding to eliminate this vital service.

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