TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Officials from the American Postal Workers Union are warning U.S. citizens to expect more delayed mail moving forward as the U.S. Postal Service looks to consolidate more than a dozen mail sorting facilities across the country.
The union released a statement this week slamming the plan, which USPS says is part of a 10-year plan aimed at spurring cash flow and savings. According to the statement, postal management informed the union on Tuesday of “management’s intent to pursue consolidations and operational mail moves in 18 facilities nationwide” by November 2021.
Union officials say they have not been told how the changes will impact workers or if the impacted facilities will be “repurposed.”
In the statement, the union’s president called the plan to consolidate a “misguided strategy” that will “further delay mail.”
“We have made crystal clear to postal management that any further plant consolidations are a misguided strategy that not only disrupts the lives of postal workers but will further delay mail,” Mark Dimondstein said. “The previous plant closings and consolidations were a complete failure and we will fight back facility-by-facility and community-by-community to save these processing plants. After a year of courageous and essential frontline work in this pandemic, management’s actions are a slap in the face of postal workers.”
A news release from the USPS outlining the plan says the movement of mail processing is “due to the decline in mail volume.”
“We will relocate or remove unnecessary letter and flat sorting equipment as appropriate to make space for much needed package processing,” the release reads. “Moving, removing, and repurposing mail processing equipment and operations or ‘operational mail moves’ is an ongoing Postal Service strategy dating back decades that allows for more efficient, timely delivery of mail and packages.”
The USPS also released a list of the 18 facilities being impacted, which includes one in Gainesville. According to the document, the mail processing operations from Gainesville will move to Jacksonville.
The president of the APWU says the union has already appointed a “fightback” committee and “stands ready to defend the jobs and livelihoods of postal workers and the prompt, reliable and efficient mail service the law requires and the people of the country deserve.”