In Missoula, Tester Joins Postal Workers and Locals to Discuss Importance of Missoula’s USPS Processing Center

Following urging from the Senator, the USPS halted plans to consolidate Missoula’s Processing and Distribution Center

U.S. Senator Jon Tester today spoke alongside postal workers and Missoula locals to discuss his efforts to halt plans to move Missoula’s United States Postal Service (USPS) Processing Center to Spokane.

“Simply put, there is no scenario where moving the processing center out of state would improve service for Montanans. And it would have put a handful of good-paying Montana jobs on the chopping block,” said Tester. “This is yet another example of unelected D.C. bureaucrats not understanding rural America. I’m proud to have put a stop to this consolidation plan, and I’m going to continue to do all I can as Montana’s senior senator to make sure they don’t change course.”

“We have heard from the elderly, we have heard from businesses, we have heard from veterans. It is a big deal to be waiting on medications. We rely on these services and we also rely on these jobs in Missoula,” said Amber Sherrill, President of the Missoula City Council. “To lose these jobs would be a giant blow to the city of Missoula as well as a giant blow to those families… I want to personally thank you, Senator Tester, for the work that you’ve done for us. I’m proud and I’m honored and I’m grateful that you’re willing to take the helm of this and fight for what we need in our community.”

“When this came across my desk, the mail processing review and the risk of losing jobs, I had no doubt in my mind Senator Tester would help us and answer the call, and you guys have. You’ve been by our side every step of the way,” said Robert Hopp, President of the American Postal Workers Union Local #113. “We all know this is a bad idea, moving all our outgoing mail to Spokane, Washington. Like the Senator said, he’s driven these roads. I’ve driven these roads. We’ve all driven these mountain passes. The PARCEL Act needs to go through… We’re moving in the wrong direction, but if we keep up the fight with Senator Tester’s help, we can win this. Thank you, again, from the bottom of my heart.”

“I want to thank Senator Tester for representing Montana values,” said Steve McArthur, a local Missoula senior. “I used to get social security mailed to me. I now have it delivered electronically to my bank. Part of that is because of the erosion of trust… I’m concerned about this continued erosion and I appreciate, Jon, your willingness to stand up and fight for our Montana values.”

After Tester repeatedly called on USPS to halt plans to move Missoula’s P&DC outgoing processing operations to Spokane, Postmaster Louis DeJoy responded by announcing this month that he would pause all processing center consolidation plans.

Tester fought for months to force USPS to halt their consolidation plans in Montana and across the country. In February, Tester urged DeJoy to halt the United States Postal Service’s Mail Processing Facility Review that could result in the relocation of Missoula’s P&DC outgoing mail processing operations to Spokane, Washington. In March, following an initial decision to make the move permanent, and after hearing from countless veterans frustrated with USPS’s untimely delivery of prescription medications, Tester called on the USPS Board of Governors to work towards improved postal service in Montana. And in May, Tester led a bipartisan letter to the USPS Board of Governors calling for the USPS to halt all consolidation plans.

Tester has introduced his Protecting Access to Rural Carriers for Every Location (PARCEL) Act – legislation to prohibit unnecessary and harmful consolidation of mail processing operations nationwide – which would ensure USPS cannot reverse course on their decision to halt consolidation plans in Missoula and across Montana.