Rep. Rahall Meets with Postmaster General Concerning Closures

From a Rep. Nick Rahall Release

Washington, D.C. (HNN) – U.S. Representative Nick J. Rahall (D-W.Va.), at a meeting in his Washington office late Wednesday, took his concerns to the head of the Postal Service about the proposed consolidation and closure of postal facilities in southern West Virginia.

“I went to the top with my concerns that southern West Virginia is being unfairly targeted,” said Rahall after meeting with Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe. “I reminded the Postmaster General that the Postal Service is required by law to consider non-financial factors in deciding whether to close a facility – the impact on the community, on postal workers, on mail delivery services.”

he Postal Service has proposed three Area Mail Processing (AMP) studies in southern West Virginia – in Beckley, Huntington, and Bluefield.  The Beckley and Huntington studies, proposing to consolidate mail processing operations in the Beckley and Huntington distribution facilities into Charleston, are being implemented.  The Bluefield study, proposing to consolidate mail processing operations at the Bluefield facility into Charleston and Johnson City, Tennessee, is still underway.

There are also 31 discontinuance studies -- the first step in the closure process for a postal facility -- underway in the USPS Appalachian District, which covers most of West Virginia and Southwest Virginia.  Of the 31 studies, eighteen are happening in southern West Virginia counties.

The Postmaster General has assured me that, once studies are complete and if closures occur, every postal worker will be afforded options to obtain other positions consistent with their postal labor agreements.  He also said that there would be no diminution in mail delivery services.  However, the only way to guarantee that services for residents and businesses will not be impacted is to fight these consolidations and closures.  We must seize every opportunity to make our case.  I have asked the Postmaster General to ensure that postal customers in southern West Virginia know their rights to comment on and appeal a closure decision,” said Rahall.

There are 343 postal facilities in southern West Virginia, more than half of the 723 facilities in the state.   Federal law requires the Postal Service to "provide a maximum degree of effective and regular postal services to rural areas, communities, and small towns where post offices are not self-sustaining."

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