Bluefield’s Mail Processing and Distribution Center has received a temporary stay of execution.
Originally targeted for closure on Tuesday, the Cumberland Road facility will reman open until early 2013 before being consolidated with existing facilities in Charleston. The revised consolidation plan is part of a modified proposal by Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe to consolidate its network of 461 mail processing locations in different phases. The first 48 facilities will be closed this August followed by another 140 by early 2013.
Although the processing center will close in early 2013, Bluefield's bulk mail acceptance unit, and its retail unit, will remain open, Postal Service spokesman Cathy Yarosky said.
“We simply do not have the mail volumes to justify the size and capacity of our current mail processing network,” Donahoe said in a press release Thursday. “To return to long-term profitability and financial stability while keeping mail affordable, we must match our network to the anticipated workload. Our current plan meets our cost reduction goals, ensures seamless and excellent service performance throughout the implementation period, and provides adequate time for our customers to adapt to our network changes.”
No postal processing centers will be closed or consolidated between September and December of this year due to the volume of high-priority mail predicted for the election and holiday mailing seasons.
Approximately 5,000 employees will begin receiving notifications next week related to consolidating and other efficiency-enhancing activities to be conducted this summer.