Postal center closings in state to affect 1,200 jobs

Hartford (AP) - Connecticut's congressional delegation expressed outrage over the U.S. Postal Service's decision to close mail processing centers in Wallingford and Stamford a year earlier than expected, affecting more than 1,000 workers.

The state's two senators and five representatives said in a statement late Tuesday the early closures renege "on a promise to the employees and communities that these facilities would remain open during this year to allow enough time to reform the Postal Service and assess if these closures are fiscally prudent."

Postal Service spokeswoman Christine Dugas couldn't immediately confirm Wednesday that the agency made such a promise.

"We're losing $25 million a day, and we have to do everything we possibly can to reduce costs," she said.

Those losses have prompted the Postal Service to accelerate the closures, which are among 55 facility consolidations planned across the country, Dugas said.

The two Connecticut centers were set to close next February but have been moved up to this summer, she said.

Most of the affected Connecticut workers probably will be able to switch to other Postal Service jobs, Dugas said.

The cost-cutting moves will affect 616 workers in Wallingford and 411 in Stamford, she said. Operations in Wallingford will be moved to Hartford and those in Stamford will be relocated to White Plains, N.Y., but bulk mail centers at the two facilities will remain open, Dugas said.

The Postal Service lost $1.3 billion in the final three months of last year, following a nearly $16 billion loss the previous fiscal year.

The agency is also trying to cut Saturday mail delivery to save $2 billion a year, but a new spending bill passed by Congress last week appears to continue the requirement for six-day mail delivery.

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