The date for Cape Girardeau’s Richard G. Wilson Processing and Distribution Facility to be combined with one in St. Louis has been set for April 18, according to a U.S. Postal Service website.
Stacy St. John, corporate communications specialist for the USPS in Iowa City, Iowa, confirmed the date Friday.
The consolidation will be part of phase 2 of the postal service’s streamlining efforts, projected to save it more than $3.5 billion in the next five years.
Local delivery and retail operations will not change, St. John wrote in an email, and city and rural deliveries for Cape Girardeau will be operated from the facility at 475 Kell Farm Drive.
The 54,000-square-foot building is owned by the postal service and opened in 1970. It was added on to in the 1990s during the height of the mail industry, St. John said in an email.
“What we intend to do if there is additional unused space is not determined at this time,” St. John wrote.
Greg Davidson, president of American Postal Workers Local Union 4088, said about 80 people work at the local facility.
“We don’t know what’s going to happen,” he said. “We don’t know if they’re going to leave any of our operations. We have no idea. … They’re not telling us anything. They never have, really.”
St. John said not every Cape Girardeau employee will be affected by the consolidation, but people who are will have a chance to be reassigned. The post office hasn’t laid anyone off during its cost-cutting efforts, and employees will be given notice of positions elsewhere.
U.S. Sens. Roy Blunt and Claire McCaskill signed a letter Thursday to congressional Appropriations Committee members asking that processing center closures be prohibited for fiscal year 2015. The letter says consolidations would eliminate 15,000 more jobs, affecting 37 states.
During the past fiscal year, USPS posted a $2.2 billion loss despite positive gains in package revenue, St. John said.
Current law requires the postal service to prefund retiree health benefits at “unrealistic levels;” prohibits the postal service from moving to five-day mail delivery; forces it to overpay into the Federal Employees Retirement System; and limits its ability to offer new products and services, St. John wrote in an email Thursday.