By Zamná Ávila, Assistant Editor
This past month, businesses in San Pedro received a notice from the U.S. Postal Service informing them of its intent to consolidate business mail services into the Torrance office.
“In our continued effort to eliminate redundancies in our system and provide efficient timely service to our mailers, the Los Angeles District has made the decision to consolidate acceptance points for Business Mail,” stated a letter signed by Lily Pamanian, USPS Business Mail Entry manager. “As a result we are looking to reduce the number of locations where mail can be dropped.”
The letter, dated June 1, sold the decision as service enhancement, citing a bigger and wider Business Mail Entry Unit — the area of a postal facility where bulk, presorted and permit imprint mail is presented for acceptance — with longer hours and a larger staff. The letter also solicited public input to be considered until July 1.
Random Lengths News Publisher James Preston Allen expressed dismay and disappointment.
“When we learned that the San Pedro Business Mail Entry Unit was going to be consolidated, we were shocked that once again our post office is losing more services,” Allen said. “What’s next? Will you stop selling stamps at the windows as well?”
Not so, said Teresita Lim Chua, Business Mail Entry supervisor for the post office.
“As of this moment there is no decision made,” said Lim Chua on July 13. “Please understand, the post office is not going to close; the retail is not going to stop.”
Allen said that cuts to the local postal office in recent years have included cutting the staff by half at the Beacon Street post office.
He cited a PBS report explaining that these decisions resulted from a 2006 congressional mandate that requires the agency to pre-pay into a fund that covers health care costs for future retired employees. These prepayments, PBS stated, are largely responsible for the USPS financial losses over the past four years.