WASHINGTON, April 24 - Sen. Bernie Sanders announced today that the U.S. Postal Service has developed a new list of mail sorting plants that it will keep open, including the mail processing center at White River Junction, Vt. The plant employs 250 workers and was previously slated for closure.
"This statement today by the Postal Service is a major step forward in our effort to keep the White River Junction plant open and maintain the 250 jobs there," Sanders said.
"This notification is consistent with a discussion I had last month with the Postmaster General Patrick Donahue. Previously, the White River Junction plant was on the list to be closed. I want to thank all of those involved in the effort to keep the plant open, including the postal unions, Sen. Leahy and Rep. Welch and Gov. Shumlin and all of the businesses and concerned citizens in Vermont who know how important it is that we maintain strong delivery standards.
"I am increasingly confident that at the end of this difficult and complicated process of comprehensive Postal Service reform that the White River Junction plant will remain open and that the hundreds of jobs there will be saved.
"Right now we are debating comprehensive postal reform legislation on the floor of the Senate. I am cautiously optimistic that legislation will pass the Senate, probably tomorrow, which will give significant new protections to rural post office and mail processing plants and will give the Postal Service the flexibility that it needs to raise additional revenues in the years to come.
The development occurred as the Senate was voting on amendments and neared a final vote on passage of a bill that could spare rural post offices and mail-processing centers. Sanders has led a group of senators who pressed to make the bill stronger.