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USPS employees told their jobs will be eliminated in July

03.31.15

MARCH 2015, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton Edition of The Union News

USPS employees told their jobs will be eliminated in July

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, March 4th- According to Kevin Gallagher, President of the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) Local 101 In Scranton, the union has been told by the United States Postal Service (USPS) that most of the mail processing being done at the South Scranton facility will be moved to the Lehigh Valley on July 25th.

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 stated around 5,000 workers would be affected by the consolidation. However, no lays-off would occur instead jobs would be “re-bid” under the labor agreement’s 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.

Mr. Gallagher stated the merging of the Scranton mail processing center with the Lehigh Valley has been delayed several times in the past and it could be postponed again, but his members must be ready for the possiblity of the closure.

APWU members will be the most effected by the merger. Mr. Gallagher stated more than half of his 180 members will need to be re-located or be re-assigned to other postal duties, such as becoming mail delivery carriers.

Under the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) with the USPS an effected employee could be placed within 50 miles of their current workplace. APWU members are mail clerks, maintenance workers, and conduct clerical work.

Recently, the agency changed their mail delivery standards that will effect how soon customers mail is received at its designation.

Mr. Gallagher stated he has talked to mail customers that have noticed that it takes longer for mail to reach its designation because of the USPS changing the mail standard.

“What they are doing is lowering the mail standards to fit what they are doing by closing plants and making other changes to the agency,” stated Mr. Gallagher.

Under the plan all processing of in-coming or out-coming mail and packages will be rerounted from Northeastern Pennsylvania to the Lehigh Valley and brought back to that region for delivery. The USPS plans to consolidated their Scranton, Lancaster and Erie facilities.