ROANOKE, Va. – An announcement from the Postmaster General could be bad news for the Roanoke Distribution facility.
Beginning in early 2015, the Post Office has decided to proceed with a plan that would close 82 sorting facilities nationwide. The postal service says it would save them nearly $750 million annually.
The plan was previously on hold while Congress mulled legislation that would have eased the financial burden on the Post Office.
A 2006 law requires the Postal Service to fund retirees benefits 75 years into the future before it sells a single stamp. Postal Worker unions say that’s a manufactured a financial crisis and that’s why the Postal Service is in so much debt.
Carlton Cooper heads the American Postal Workers Union in Roanoke, he says Congress has promised reform for years, but nothing has been done.
Last week, Congress decided not to pass any postal reform, forcing the Postal Service to go ahead with consolidation.
“Both parties, Republican and Democrat in Congress, come together to pass some kind of postal reform, we’re still going to have this cloud hanging over us, as a processing center, for the post office,” said Cooper.
There’s still optimism among union leaders that many of the consolidation centers will stay open with enough public pressure. Cooper disagrees with the Postmaster General’s decision to close the 82 processing centers, saying it’s a political move that’s making workers anxious.
However, Cooper’s theory is that this move will create political pressure on lawmakers who’s constituents don’t want their mail to be delayed.
If consolidation continues, Roanoke and Lynchburg’s mail would be sorted in Greensboro, North Carolina.
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