Tester demands explanation for postal service closing

Senator fights to protect Montana jobs amid postal service consolidation

(BIG SANDY, Mont.) – Senator Jon Tester is demanding an explanation from the head of the U.S. Postal Service over decisions to consolidate two regional postal districts and to possibly close small, rural post offices.

The Postal Service recently moved to consolidate the Big Sky Postal District and the Dakota Postal District, resulting in a loss of up to 43 postal service jobs.

“The Postal Service has provided no details of the comprehensive review that might justify this decision,” Tester wrote in a letter to Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe.  “When jobs are at stake, this lack of transparency is unacceptable.  The Postal Service must provide an accurate justification for this decision.  And demonstrate that these measures will improve mail delivery in Montana.”

Tester warned that any further consolidation could hurt postal service in Montana and other rural states.

While recognizing the need to cut costs and waste, Tester also noted that the Postal Service is considering the closures just a few years after allowing unlimited salaries for its top executives.

“There are other ways to save money than eliminating jobs of hard-working Montanans and negatively affecting mail service for my constituents,” Tester wrote.  “Living in rural America is different from living in urban America.  It may not matter to folks in big cities if the post office stopped delivery to their apartments on Saturdays or if a local post office branch closed.  But it would matter a great deal to Montanans.”

“We still rely heavily on our postal carrier to bring us everything from letters from thousands of servicemembers overseas to life-saving medications.  Such burdens should not be placed on rural Americans when too many people are living paycheck to paycheck,” Tester added.

Tester is a member of the Senate Government Affairs and Homeland Security Committee, which has jurisdiction over the U.S. Postal Service.

Tester’s letter to Donahoe is available on his website, HERE.