POSTED: Tuesday, February 26, 2013 - 7:55pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, February 27, 2013 - 1:40pm
The closure of the East Texas Mail Processing and distribution Center has been accelerated.
That means big changes for the area in terms of the speed of delivery.
The US Postal Service is facing a host of problems, some manufactured by Congress, but some are just Darwin’s laws of natural selection at work.
The Post Office is expected to be self-sustaining, and make a profit without federal funding, but it has to operate under rules set by Congress.
So, competing with the likes of Federal Express or UPS is tough when the government forbids you to cut some services or close facilities.
Then there’s the 2006 law that requires the Post Office to pay for future retirees pension and health benefits upfront…$5-billion a year for until 2017. No other government agency has to pre-fund retiree benefits.
And the Postal Service says, they are overpaying as well. There is a multimillion dollar surplus in the fund while the Post Office hemorrhages money, but Congress will not budge.
As one employee told me, “They shoot you in the leg and then complain that you’re limping.”
Then the Darwinian component. No one mails letters anymore. First class mail has dropped 7.5% a year and yet the Service by law has to promise universal delivery.
So, the East Texas Mail Processing and Distribution Center will close, beginning in mid-March.
Mail originating in Longview, Henderson, Carthage, Kilgore and others will go to Shreveport for handling.
The balance of East Texas mail will head that way on April first.
That means longer processing times and an end to overnight delivery here in East Texas.
But again, any layoffs or closures must be approved by Congress.
UPS doesn’t have that problem.