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Consolidation of mail sorting centers facing opposition


SEPTEMBER 2014, LEHIGH VALLEY Edition of The Union News

Consolidation of mail sorting centers facing opposition


REGION, August 17th- The labor organizations that represent workers employed at the United States Postal Service (USPS) 82 mail-sorting processing centers throughout the nation that the agency plans to close in 2015, hope that an effort in Washington DC by Congress will at least delay the action for one year.

The USPS announced in 2012 it would consolidate 48 mail processing center throughout the nation including their Scranton, Lackawanna County facility, which the operation would be moved to the Lehigh Valley facility. The plan according to the agency would save nearly $1.2 billion a year.

The USPS first announced it would close around 250 processing centers with around 5,000 workers being affected by the consolidation. The plan was to consolidate 92 mail processing centers in February 2013, and 89 more in 2014, including the Scranton facility. However, in November 2013 the agency suspended closing any more centers that were slated for closure or merging including the moving of the Lackawanna County facility to the Lehigh Valley.

But, on August 1st, the USPS changed their minds yet again and filed notice that it would change delivery standards effective January 5th, 2015, and it would consolidate the facility with the Lehigh Valley operation.

After the USPS announced their latest plan to go forward with the consolidation of the mail processing centers, fifty United States Senators from both political parties joined forces to try to stop the agency for one year from closing the 82 mail sorting facilities. There were fourty-four Democrats, seven Republicans and one Independent senators that requested the Senate Appropriations Committee to ban the cuts for one year. The senators then recessed for the summer break.

The American Postal Workers Union (APWU), which along with the National Association of Letter Carriers Union (NALC), represents the majority of the USPS employees. APWU members would be the most effected by the consolidation of the mail sorting centers.

Local 268 represents the APWU workers in the Lehigh Valley while the workers in Scranton are represented by Local 101.

Should the Scranton facility be consolidated the APWU members will need to travel to the region to continue to be employed by the USPS.