Postal Service plans to cut Norfolk mail processing
The U.S. Postal Service plans to eliminate all mail processing at the Church Street station next year, an official said Wednesday.
The retail counter, however, will remain open, spokeswoman Freda Sauter wrote in an email.
In 2011, the Postal Service announced that it wanted to move all processing of local mail from the Norfolk Processing and Distribution Center on Church Street to the Sandston plant outside Richmond. Last summer, the agency transferred to Sandston the processing of outgoing mail, which is sent from Hampton Roads. The switch means that letters mailed from, say, Norfolk to Virginia Beach are trucked to Sandston to be processed and then driven back to Hampton Roads to be delivered.
It was part of a nationwide plan to close or consolidate more than 250 processing centers to reduce the agency’s multibillion-dollar deficit. Officials at the Postal Service said the change would not affect delivery times, but local union officials have questioned the promise and said the savings would be negligible.
Processing of mail sent to Hampton Roads from outside the area has continued at the Church Street plant. But the Norfolk site was on a list of 80 centers, under the heading “Planned Phase 2 Consolidations,” released Monday by the agency.
Sauter said that means the postal agency plans to move the processing of incoming mail to Sandston, too. “The process will begin in January 2015,” she said.
Sauter said she did not know how many employees would be affected. Last summer, she said the transfer of outgoing processing to Sandston would leave the Church Street complex with about 435 workers.
“Every effort will be made to reassign impacted employees,” Sauter wrote Wednesday. The Postal Service, she said, “has a proud history of successfully completing consolidation efforts without any layoffs. We will continue to honor all contractual obligations with this move.”