By Linda Martz – March 6, 2015
MANSFIELD – Ten mail handlers’ jobs are being restored at Mansfield’s downtown post office — but a spokesman for the U.S. Postal Service said that change will not result in bringing mechanized mail processing back to the city.
David Van Allen said the mail handlers will start work Saturday from 10 p.m. to 6:30 a.m., the hours when processed mail arrives in Mansfield.
It means a second shift of mail handlers is being added.
“The people who will be filling the positions already work for the USPS. They previously worked in Mansfield and have elected to transfer back to Mansfield from Columbus and Cleveland,” Van Allen said.
The change “is an operational shift to increase network efficiency between Cleveland and Mansfield,” he said.
No mail processing equipment will be returned to Mansfield, he said.
“This is a manual hub operation. It involves manually re-containerizing and loading onto trucks mail that has been processed in Cleveland for delivery in the ‘448’ ZIP code area,” Van Allen said.
“The processed mail arrives in Mansfield during the night, is manually separated and re-containerized for distribution to 448 ZIP code area post offices and loaded onto trucks. The loaded trucks depart the hub and deliver the mail to the post offices. Carriers then deliver the mail during the daylight hours,” he said.
“It has nothing to do with mail processing,” Van Allen said.
No additional workers, such as custodial or maintenance help, will be hired as a result of restoring the night shift, he said.
Mail processing operations left Mansfield for Cleveland in 2012, as part of a shift in which the Postal Service closed more than 80 mail processing centers across the country to deal with a sharp decline in the volume of mail.
Both Mansfield’s and Akron’s mail were shifted to Cleveland, and Dayton’s mail went to Columbus. Some mail processed in Toledo was shifted to Detroit or Pontiac, Michigan.
Between 2006 and 2013, the Postal Service decreased its workforce from 796,000 to 618,000 employees, or about 22 percent, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office.
The Postal Service revised its delivery standards, generally increasing delivery time for some first-class mail from one to two days, allowing it to close some processing facilities.
The steward of the mail handlers’ union in Mansfield could not immediately be reached for comment.