UPDATE Dec. 5:CHICAGO (AP) -- The struggling U.S. Postal Service says it's moving forward with plans to slash its budget by $3 billion by closing more than 250 mail processing centers around the nation, including nine in Illinois.
The cuts announced Monday would slow first-class mail service, ending next-day deliveries of stamped letters.
The list of processing centers to be closed released earlier this year includes facilities in Bloomington, Carbondale, Centralia, Chicago, Effingham, Fox Valley, Quincy, Rockford, and Springfield.
But the fight to save the centers is far from over. A spokesman for U.S. Rep. Don Manzullo says the plan makes no sense and Manzullo is demanding the postal service produce data that justify the move. The plan calls for closing a center in Rockford and moving its operations to Madison, Wis.
For the first time in 40 years the U.S. Postal Service says it will slow down first-class mail starting this spring.
Right now, nearly half of all first class mail arrives the next day, but the postal service plans to close nearly half of its 500 mail processing centers. The result--it will take at least two days to deliver most mail. Leaders say they have to take action to help get out of the red.
Postal Vice President David Williams said, “We have to do this. We have to make this change in order for the postal service to become financially viable."
37 hundred local post offices are set to be shut down nationwide and 100-thousand postal workers could lose their jobs.
ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- A mainstay for the U.S. Postal Service is about to become a thing of the past: first-class next day delivery. And the big change could do more harm than good.
“If they're going to change the time and delivery on first class, they can't hardly call it first class. If it's going to cost me more to send it and take longer to get there, I will most likely choose UPS or FedEx”, says customer Carol Wehmeyer.
Facing a projected deficit of $14.1 billion next year, the Postal Service will announce several cuts on Monday to help the agency avoid bankruptcy. The removal of first class-next day delivery would mean nearly half of first class mail would arrive three days after it's sent. A change that could have a significant impact on local businesses.
Vicki Bressler, owner of Merle Norman Cosmetics says, "My customers will be upset. I have customers who do mail order every single day. I'm here at the post office every single night, every single day after I close my store. I think the delays will be very hard on my customers, I think they will be very unhappy."
Elimination of next day service is the second change in first class mail in recent months. A one cent increase, from 44 to 45 cents, is also scheduled to begin on January 22.
"I cover the costs for my customers at this point in time so I don't know how that will affect me. We'll have to see", says Bressler.
Rockford Postal Workers union president Tim Pedersen says he's worried the agency is rushing into the decision to cut next-day delivery and feels there are other ways to save money without harming service.