Congressman Brian Higgins (D-NY) held a press conference at the Buffalo, NY based printing and direct mail service provider Zenger Group on January 19th to oppose the scheduled closure of the Postal Service William Street mail processing facility here. The facility is considered to be the postal distribution gateway between the U.S. and Toronto/southern Ontario, as well as a major radiating point of print and mail services in Western New York.
After a tour of the Zenger Group production floor, Congressman Higgins stressed the rippling effects that the closure of the William Street facility would have throughout the region. While concern was expressed toward the facility's 700 employees, the negative impact of the closure would extend much further, into local printing, mailing and advertising industries. Consequences of the facility's closure would include decreased mail timeliness, increased cost of advertising, and ultimately job loss in the private sector, as print and mail products and services would likely be redirected out of WNY.
Zenger Group President and CEO Stephen Zenger spoke on behalf of Zenger Group's 118 employees as well as the 5,000 Western New Yorkers employed by the print and mail industry in similar regard: “The Buffalo Processing and Distribution Center handles a significant volume of mail from Canadian companies, both mail produced in Canada and trucked across the border and mail produced here by Western New York area printers…First, additional costs of trucking mail from Canada beyond Buffalo will preclude much of this work from being done in this fashion. Second, much of the mail produced here for Canadian customers by Western New York printers is done so because it is logistically convenient for printer/customer interactions such plant visits and press checks. When the mail ceases to be processed here, the logistical benefits will cease as well and the work will cease shortly thereafter.”
Also present were Dan Bailey, operator of DXO Communications of Buffalo, Printing Industries Alliance President Tim Freeman, and David J. Shenk, Boston Town Clerk & Tax Collector, all of whom spoke out in solidarity against the closure of the William Street facility and its potentially damaging effects on the WNY economy. It was with optimism that Congressman Higgins concluded, “We are here not just to have our voices heard, but to strengthen our argument.”