Archived Story

Upton fighting postal merger

Published 8:56am Friday, August 28, 2009

KALAMAZOO – Upon learning of an unauthorized study recommending the consolidation of the Kalamazoo Automated Mail Processing facility into Grand Rapids, U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, immediately voiced his concerns directly to Postmaster General, John Potter.

Upton is concerned with the intent of the non-sanctioned study and its recommendations that will have widespread implications upon postal efficiency in Kalamazoo as well as impact many postal families within the community.

Upton has heard from dozens of local postal workers who may be faced with the decision to either move their families or commute more than 100 miles a day just to keep their current job. Upton is also concerned with rumors swirling over the closings of regional post offices, including the Arcadia Creek Station post office in downtown Kalamazoo. “The motives behind an unauthorized pre-study recommending the consolidation of our local facility into Grand Rapids raise serious red flags and concerns,” said Upton.

“The U.S. Postal Service has clear guidelines for such studies, and it appears that some folks in management are looking to railroad a decision that will have a tremendous impact upon our community.

“Over half of the mail processed in the Oshtemo facility is addressed to the Kalamazoo area, and if such a recommendation is to improve efficiency, it makes no sense to redirect that mail to Grand Rapids and then back to Kalamazoo.”

In mid-July, Upton was informed by local postal workers of the non-sanctioned pre-study commissioned by officials in Grand Rapids that recommended for the Oshtemo facility be consolidated into operations in Grand Rapids.

Postal Service policy stipulates that such a study requires public notification, a comment period and a chance for public input – none of which occurred.

Upton voiced his concerns to Postmaster General Potter in a letter dated July 29 and requested assurances that any forthcoming study be free of bias and also sought Potter’s thoughts on the pre-study. Despite repeated inquiries, Upton has yet to receive a response.

“Local postal facilities serve as a cornerstone to communities large and small, and provide hundreds of good-paying, stable jobs,” said Upton. “We owe it to our postmen and women who have faithfully served our community, many for their entire careers, to keep them employed within their own community.”

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