The U.S. Postal Service has targeted 31 North Jersey post offices for possible closure and is reportedly reviewing 100 times as many branches nationwide, an internal agency memo says.
Postal service officials say the most likely candidates are in urban areas that have more than one facility.
Except for a branch in Newark that’s open only four days a week, and another in Edison, the offices under consideration haven’t been identified.
What’s interesting, however, is that current law and the agency’s own procedures require intense review and allow for appeals by small post offices to stay open. There was no such appeal last year, when the service closed a Cliffside Park branch on Anderson Avenue, less than a mile from its main facility on Gorge Road.
Under the Postal Reorganization Act of 1970, the USPS is prohibited from closing a small post office based solely on economic factors. The service must seek an advisory opinion from the Postal Rate Commission — which, while not binding, throws another obstacle in the way of the process.
Then there’s the labor union.
The problem, the service says, is that its billions in losses this fiscal year puts retiree health benefit contributions in jeopardy.
Ideas floated by the Postal Service include cutting back to five days a week, offering early retirement packages, and reducing work hours at its 34,000 facilities nationwide.
The agency doesn’t receive federal funding: It relies on its own revenue.
Which, of course, explains the cost of stamps.
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