Hassan opposes USPS moving Manchester facility to Boston

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U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan
U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan. Photo/Andrew Sylvia

WASHINGTON – On Tuesday, U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan raised concerns about the U.S. Postal Service (USPS)’s plan to move the Manchester Processing & Distribution Center’s operations to Boston at a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing.

To watch Senator Hassan’s hearing questions, click here.

“Granite Staters reach out to my office daily about delivery issues that they are experiencing,” said Senator Hassan. “This new plan from the Postal Service [to move operations from the Manchester Processing and Distribution Center to Boston] … could exacerbate these issues by leading to more delayed mail deliveries, delayed absentee ballots, and job losses for postal employees, and that is unacceptable.”

“The Postal Service’s current plan fundamentally lacks a commitment to service. Granite Staters, and all Americans, deserve a new plan for reliable, timely postal delivery,” continued Senator Hassan. “This is true whether they live in rural or urban areas, whether they are waiting for a customer’s check to come in, whether they are a grandparent waiting for a birthday card from their grandchild, or whether they are waiting for life-saving medications.”

Senator Hassan told Tammy Hull, USPS Inspector General, that she was concerned about delivery delays and employees making a choice between a difficult commute to Boston or losing their jobs as a result of operations moving from Manchester to Boston. Senator Hassan asked Inspector General Hull what New Hampshire should expect based on previous USPS consolidations. Inspector General Hull said that the USPS has faced challenges consolidating operations in Richmond, VA and Atlanta, GA. Inspector General Hull encouraged the USPS to get employees on board with the plan before moving operations from Manchester to Boston, based on what the Inspector General has observed in Richmond.

“This is not necessarily about getting employees on board. It’s about listening to employees,” said Senator Hassan. “They are the experts in delivering mail. They are the experts in their states, they’re the experts—they’re the ones who know where a particular address is when someone writes the wrong address on an envelope. But they are the people who know this area, and you might all start with listening to them about what they think the impacts will be on service, service being the paramount obligation here.”

Senator Hassan also raised issues with the USPS’s plan to consolidate a facility in White River Junction, Vermont – which serves customers in northern New Hampshire – with a facility in Hartford, Connecticut that is 150 miles away. “For Granite Staters in the North Country in particular, the Postal Service is a lifeline,” said Senator Hassan. “The postal service remains particularly important up there especially when you’re talking about the delivery of medication and essential goods.”

Senator Hassan and the other members of the New Hampshire Congressional Delegation have repeatedly raised concerns about the USPS plan to move the Manchester center’s operations to Boston. Senator Hassan has also led efforts to strengthen the USPS. Two years ago, Senator Hassan and colleagues’ bipartisan legislation to strengthen the USPS and improve the agency’s long-term financial stability was signed into law. Senator Hassan additionally led negotiations during the pandemic to secure an additional $10 billion to support USPS operations.

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