In 2015, the United States Postal Service (USPS) plans to close and consolidate up to 82 mail processing facilities across the country – including ones in Akron, Dayton, Toledo and Youngstown – putting 15,000 jobs at risk.
To protect these jobs and ensure that Ohioans continue to receive reliable mail service, I joined with 49 other Senators in signing a letter, urging the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee and the Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government to prevent all USPS closings and consolidations through Fiscal Year 2015.
As our economy recovers, workers can’t afford to be without a paycheck. This extension would give Congress time to pass comprehensive postal reform legislation to fund USPS operations and keep over 1,000 Ohioans in good-paying jobs.
This Congress, I introduced The Postal Service Protection Act, alongside seven other senators, to modernize and save USPS. This legislation would preserve Saturday mail delivery, restrict the closure of rural and urban post offices, and protect mail processing facilities to ensure maintenance of timely service.
It would also address the Postal Service’s financial problems by eliminating the requirement that it pre-fund 75 years’ worth of future retiree health benefits. This mandate – which no other public or private business must meet – has caused USPS to overpay into its pension plans and subsequently subsidize retire accounts for the entire Federal government.
The hard-working employees of USPS provide an essential service and deserve to keep their jobs. Congress must act to keep these mail processing facilities open and ensure the USPS can afford to operate in the future.
Sen. Sherrod Brown represents Ohio in the Senate and is a guest columnist.