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Scranton mail processing slated for Lehigh Valley in January


DECEMBER 2014, LEHIGH VALLEY Edition of The Union News

Scranton mail processing slated for Lehigh Valley in January


REGION, November 15th- The labor organizations that represent workers of the United States Postal Service (USPS) distribution center in Scranton are meeting with federal elected representatives hoping they will support not changing mail delivery standards and moving their processing work to the Lehigh Valley that is currently scheduled for early 2015.

The USPS announced in 2012 it would consolidate 48 mail processing centers throughout the nation including their operations in Scranton to the Lehigh Valley. The USPS stated then the plan would save the agency nearly $1.2 billion a year.The agency first announced it would close about 250 processing centers after their plan is fully implemented.

The USPS and stated around 5,000 workers would be affected by the consolidation. However, no lay-offs would occur instead jobs would be “re-bid” under the labor agreements with the USPS and workers is some cases would need to either relocate or travel to other postal service facilities to continue to be employed by the USPS.

The first plan released by the USPS was to consolidate 92 mail processing centers in February 2013 and 89 more in 2014. However, the agency in November 2013 suspended closing any more processing centers that were previously slated for closure or merging, including the Scranton facility.

However, the USPS changed their plan again during the summer and announced it would move most of the mail processing currently being done at the Scranton facility to the Lehigh Valley in January, 2015.

The change of delivery standards means that any overnite mail delivery will be done away with and a two-day delivery time will take effect next year. Therefore, the Scranton, Lancaster and Erie facilities will be consolidated around January 10th.

The American Postal Workers Union (APWU) Local 101 represents the majority of the workers that will be effected by the USPS action in Scranton. However, because of the job bidding requirement under the collective bargaining agreement’s with the APWU and the other postal unions’, some of the APWU members could end-up delivering mail.

According to the APWU, the USPS have began to post job bidding under the CBA. However, the union is still hopeful the USPS will change their plan yet again with pressure from federal legislators and delay consolidating anymore centers.

Local 268 represents APWU members in the Lehigh Valley. Should the Scranton workers be moved to the Bethlehem USPS mail processing facility, they will become Local 268 members.