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APWU defends postal service calling for mail standard delay

12.19.14

DECEMBER 2014, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton Edition of The Union News

APWU defends postal service calling for mail standard delay

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, December 2nd- Kevin Gallagher, President of the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) Local 101 in Scranton, is defending the United States Postal Service (USPS) calling the agency the “least costly mail service in the industrial world” and stated the newest plan by the USPS would further degrade and reduce the mail service nationwide.

The labor organizations that represent workers of the USPS distribution center in Scranton have been 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 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-off 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 change of delivery standards means that any overnite mail delivery will be done away with and a two-day delivery time will take effect. Under the current plan the Scranton, Lancaster and Erie facilities will be consolidated around January 10th.

The APWU Local 101 represents the majority of the workers that will be effected by the USPS action at the Scranton processing center. However, because of the job bidding requirement under the collective bargaining agreement’s (CBA’s) with the APWU and the other postal unions, including the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) Union, some of the APWU members could end-up delivering mail.

The APWU held a “public meeting” on November 14th at the Greenwood Hose Company facility in Moosic in Lackawanna County to inform the public about how changing the delivery standards would effect postal customers.

Mr. Gallagher stated bill payment remittances will take much longer creating cash flow problems, and other payments and invoices will be delayed resulting in extra costs if the delivery standards are implemented.