Postal Service to begin closing plants this summer

May 18, 2012 • National News

In this photo taken May 15, 2012, in Hope, Alaska, Cherryl Stavish poses at her Winter Cafe restaurant. Stavish works Saturdays at the Hope Post Office, and says if the U.S. Postal Service follows through on its plan to cut the rural Alaska post office’s hours by 50 percent, she will lose her job there. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The nearly bankrupt U.S. Postal Service is moving forward with a multibillion-dollar cost-cutting plan that will close nearly 250 mail processing centers, saying on Thursday it can no longer wait as Congress remains deadlocked over how to help.

At a news briefing, Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said the agency’s mail processing network had simply become too big, given declining first-class mail volume and mounting debt. It will now consolidate nearly 250 plants as originally proposed, including 48 this summer, but will stretch out the remainder over a longer time frame in 2013 and 2014.

Earlier this month, nearly half the Senate had written letters to Donahoe asking that he hold off on closing any mail facility until Congress could pass final postal overhaul legislation. The Senate last month passed a bill that would halt many of the closings. The House remains stalled over a separate postal measure allowing for more aggressive cuts.

“To return to long-term profitability and financial stability while Login to read more

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