US Postal Service delays closings, consolidations - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

US Postal Service delays closings, consolidations

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (KWWL) -

The U.S. Postal Service has agreed to delay the closing of 252 mail processing centers and 3,700 local post offices until mid-May.

The cash-strapped agency, which is forecast to lose a record $14.1 billion next year, announced last week it was moving forward on cutbacks. It had planned to begin closing processing centers as early as April, and shutter some post offices early next year.

Processing centers in Waterloo and Cedar Rapids were among those proposed for consolidation.

Last Thursday, a group of 18 Senate Democrats signed a letter to congressional leaders asking them to add language to legislation that would halt closings for six months. Closures could cost 100,000 postal employees their jobs.

"I strongly believe that we must push for a more cost effective and efficient postal system. However, it is imperative Congress have time to carefully consider the impact of reforms, including closings and consolidations, on our citizens, communities, workers and businesses. I thank the Postmaster General for listening to our concerns, taking them into account, and delaying the proposed closures," Sen. Tom Harkin said in a written statement.

The USPS says it will continue to evaluate postal facilities and hold public meetings during the delay. In a written release, the USPS says it, "hopes this period will help facilitate the enactment of comprehensive postal legislation."

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