It’s been happening here in Tucson for some time now with the partial shut-down of the Cherrybell mail processing center in 2011.
Now the post office will cease all letter sorting, handing the job off to Phoenix.
Service to homes will continue as normal, but the sorting center at the Cherrybell Post Office will cease to exist come April 18, 2015.
For frequent Post Office users, like Rhonda Staggs, this change is hard to comprehend.
“We’ve got this great processing center here,” said Staggs. “It’s up, it’s running, why shut it down?”
The Tucson processing facility was built to handle a much larger volume. But items sent through the mail have decreased by nearly a quarter in the past decade.
Since February of last year, the Cherrybell facility has been sending large flat mail items to Phoenix for processing. Now in phase two of consolidation, mail of all sizes, including packages, will make that journey.
“The more it has to move around, the more the mail has a higher rate of being lost,” said Staggs.
The Tucson Letter Carriers Association president worries this might mean a delay in getting your letters.
A change some may not even notice.
“I pick up my mail maybe once or twice a week, so it wouldn’t affect me at all,” said USPS customer Randy Cohen.
Here in Tucson, it also means 259 workers will need to find new jobs.
“People are already struggling nationally to be employed,” said Natalie Marie-Hammond.
The USPS said it will offer them new positions, some at other facilities, maybe even other cities. But the American Postal Workers Union president said this only includes career employees, at least 100 workers will not be protected.
“That’s also taking away from the economy in Tucson too. People moving and not as many people here,” said Cohen.
These changes are taking place at 81 more facilities across the country. It’s expected to save the USPS $750 million each year.