2011-12-14 / Features

Electeds Protest Closure Of Critical Postal Center


State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky led a press conference in front of the USPS Queens Processing and Distribution Center. She is joined here by (l. to r.); Assemblymember Phillip Goldfeder, Councilmember Daniel Halloran, Assemblymembers Grace Meng and William Scarborough, Congressmember Joseph Crowley, Assemblymember Michael Simanowitz and postal workers. 
Photo office of Senator Stavisky State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky led a press conference in front of the USPS Queens Processing and Distribution Center. She is joined here by (l. to r.); Assemblymember Phillip Goldfeder, Councilmember Daniel Halloran, Assemblymembers Grace Meng and William Scarborough, Congressmember Joseph Crowley, Assemblymember Michael Simanowitz and postal workers. Photo office of Senator Stavisky State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky, Congressmember Joseph Crowley, Assemblymembers Ed Braunstein, Phillip Goldfeder, Grace Meng, William Scarborough, Michael Simanowitz and David Weprin, Councilmembers James Gennaro and Dan Halloran, stood outside the United States Postal Service Queens Processing and Distribution Center in College Point on December 9 to protest its impending closure. They were joined by American Postal Workers Union

Executive Vice

President Stephen

Larkin, Queens Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Jack Friedman and several civic associations.

Earlier this month, the United States Postal Service (USPS) announced plans to consolidate this distribution center with another in Brooklyn. The shuttering of this facility will cost the borough more than 1,000 jobs in mail handling, mail carrying, clerk jobs, maintenance workers, and drivers. It will also be damaging to local businesses that generate business from their proximity to the plant, which is adjacent to highways and near airports.

“The USPS plan is flawed. Their study has been rushed and is deceiving. Closure of this facility is the wrong decision at the wrong time. We can’t afford to be hemorrhaging jobs in this economy,” Stavisky said. “We need time to find alternative measures that would not be as catastrophic for Queens.”

The elected officials and labor leaders at the event also stressed that USPS has asked for public comments on this action, but has yet to release the contents of its feasibility study. The initial estimate released by USPS of how many jobs would be lost was 725, but upon a closer look, urged by the unions affected, the USPS agreed that the number of jobs lost would be more than 1,000.

The Queens Distribution Center services the city’s largest geographic borough with 109 square miles, and is the second most populous, with 2.2 million people. Stavisky has started an online petition asking USPS to “Keep the Mail in Queens”. Those who wish to sign the petition can do so at www.stavisky.nysenate.gov.

Stavisky also announced that she and 23 other elected officials, both Democratic and Republican, signed and sent a letter to the United States Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe, asking that the decision to close the center be reversed and stating that “under the USPS’ universal service obligation, it must provide access to services, facilities, and delivery frequency equally to all. Telling residents of Queens that they must now travel an additional 26 miles roundtrip, seems to be a failure to meet this obligation.”

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