Skyline of Richmond, Virginia

USPS again delays moving mail processing from Scranton

05.25.15

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

USPS again delays moving mail processing from Scranton

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, May 4th- Kevin Gallagher, President of the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) Local 101 in Scranton, told the newspaper his union has been notified by officials of the United States Postal Service (USPS) that they have again delayed the consolidation of the Scranton processing center with the Lehigh Valley facility.

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 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.

The Scranton mail processing center was scheduled to be consolidated with the Lehigh Valley facility on July 15th. However, Mr. Gallagher stated the USPS has put the action on delay until likely until the spring of 2016 or possibly later.

“We just don’t know. All we now know is it will not happen this July,” added Mr. Gallagher.

In the previous edition of the newspaper, Mr. Gallagher was quoted stating 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.

There are approximately 25 mail delivery positions currently unfilled in Scranton that the APWU members could be transferred to, around 21 available in Wilkes-Barre, and 17 in Pittston, Mr. Gallagher stated.

Mr. Gallagher told the newspaper that since the USPS changed mail delivery standards several months ago, customer complaints have increased because it now takes longer for letters and other correspondence to reach their destignation.