Postmaster General Says Senator Collins' Postal Bill Would Save Hampden Plant, Protect Jobs
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The U.S. Senate is currently debating bipartisan postal reform legislation coauthored by Maine Senator Susan Collins that would reform the U.S. Postal Service.
In a letter to Senator Collins today, the Postmaster General confirmed that if her postal reform bill is enacted the Eastern Maine Processing Center in Hampden would continue operation. Senator Collins' bill ensures that the Postal Service must maintain some overnight delivery and in Maine that service would be impossible without both the Hampden and Scarborough plants. If the bill with this provision passes the Senate on Wednesday and ultimately becomes law, the Hampden plant would be essential to meeting the requirements and could not be closed by the Postal Service as long as the overnight delivery standard were in effect.
"It's good news for Postal customers and employees in Maine that the Postmaster General has acknowledged that the level of service required in our bill will necessitate him keeping the Hampden mail processing center open. Given the geography of our State, both plants - in Hampden and Scarborough -- are clearly essential," said Senator Collins.
"In recent months, we have seen the Postal Service announce a number of draconian measures including the intent to close hundreds of processing plants and implementing disastrous service standard changes. Our bill takes a far better approach that helps the Postal Service right size its excess capacity, while still maintaining what is one of the most valuable assets to the Postal Service: its ability to deliver mail overnight to many areas. The Hampden plant could not be closed as long as these service standards included in our bill become law," Senator Collins added.
The Postal Service is the linchpin of a $1.1 trillion mailing and mail-related industry that employs nearly 8.7 million Americans in fields as diverse as direct mail, printing, catalog companies, magazine and newspaper publishing, and paper manufacturing.
Nearly 38,000 Mainers work in jobs related to the mailing industry, including thousands at our pulp and paper mills like the one in Bucksport, Maine, which provides paper for Time magazine.
The bipartisan "21st Century Postal Service Act" is authored by Senators Susan Collins and Joe Lieberman, Ranking Member and Chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, along with Senators Tom Carper and Scott Brown.