abc
QUICK LINKS:

Duluth Postal Center Closure Will Affect Jobs and Mailing

Updated: 07/02/2014 6:14 PM
Created: 07/02/2014 4:31 PM WDIO.com
By: Briggs LeSavage
blesavage@wdio.com

The Duluth mail processing center is scheduled to close in 2015 as part of a nationwide consolidation effort to help the United States Postal Service's continuing financial issue. 

After facing closure in past years, Duluth's processing center was spared when 141 other centers closed around the country in 2012 and 2013. Now, in another effort to come back from $26 billion in financial losses over the past three years, the Postal Service is consolidating 82 more processing centers across the country- four of those in Minnesota. 

U.S. Sen. Al Franken asked the Postal service Wednesday to reconsider, saying they'll harm the four Minnesota communities in Duluth, Bemidji, St. Cloud and Mankato. The Rochester processing center closed earlier in the consolidation process. 

American Postal Workers Union Local President Todd Fawcett said cutting locations and the jobs that come with it isn't the answer. 

"I don't think they've done anything to improve service," Fawcett said. "I don't think they've done anything to bring more money to the Postal Service. All they want to do is cut, cut, cut."

Fawcett estimates 70 people will lose their jobs when the processing center closes next year.  Carl Folsom is a building equipment mechanic at the processing center and said the news came unexpectedly. 

"Monday was like out of the blue," Folsom said. "At 1 p.m. we went into a meeting, and next thing we know, we're closing. No warning, no nothing." 

Employees won't be the only ones affected. When the center closes, the city's mail will be processed in St. Paul, which Fawcett said could delay the process by 2-3 days. 

"All the mail that's processed here locally is going to be trucked down to St. Paul where they will process it, and then they will truck it all the way back here," Fawcett said. 

However, the Postal Service states that it doesn't expect major delays in mail delivery by consolidating centers, but Folsom thinks otherwise and said it's not ideal to sacrifice speed. 

"We just became a second class city," Folsom said. "Everything else is getting faster in the world, and we're getting slower. 

Dave Partenheimer of the United States Postal Service states the rationalization of its network in 2012 and 2013 was "highly successful" and continues to generate annual cost savings of nearly $865 million. The Postal Service expects this round of consolidations will generate an additional $750 million in annual savings. 

Residents use the West Michigan Street Postal Center location in Duluth Wednesday.

Front Page

  • Licenses, Deer Population Down for Wisconsin Deer Opener

    The Wisconsin firearm deer hunting tradition got off to a safe start as Department of Natural Resources officials said they had received no reports of accidental shootings or other injuries by mid-afternoon Sunday on the opener of the state's nine-day gun deer hunt.

  • Northlanders Give Back in Preparation for Holiday Season

    Northlanders gave back on Saturday in preparation for the holiday season. It was Family Volunteer Day at the Duluth Library, and folks participated in several friendly projects.

  • "By Us, For Us" Meeting to Discuss Vision for Equity in Duluth

    Duluth's Native and African heritage communities came together on Saturday to share experiences and ideas at the 1st United Methodist Church. The meeting called "By Us, For Us" invited people of color, African Americans and Native Americans to come together to break bread and learn about each other culturally. 

  • MNsure Enrollments, Renewals Approach 8,000

    Minnesota's health insurance exchange says it has enrolled nearly 8,000 Minnesotans in health plans in the first week of open enrollment this fall. The deadline for enrolling in coverage that takes effect Jan. 1 is Dec. 15.

  • Superior Police: Officer's Use of Force Justified

    The Superior Police Department says an internal investigation has found an officer's use of force was justified in an arrest seen on a controversial dashcam video.  However, the officer was given a 10-hour unpaid suspension for "vulgar and unprofessional" communication during the arrest.

 

Dense Fog Advisory

MN AREAS AFFECTED: Central St. Louis; North Itasca; South Itasca
Expires: 11/23/2014 12:00 PM

Dense Fog Advisory

MN AREAS AFFECTED: Carlton, South St. Louis; Crow Wing; North Cass; Northern Aitkin; Pine; South Aitkin; South Cass; Southern Cook, North Shore; Southern Lake, North Shore
Expires: 11/23/2014 12:00 PM

Dense Fog Advisory

WI AREAS AFFECTED: Ashland; Bayfield; Burnett; Douglas; Iron; Price; Sawyer; Washburn
Expires: 11/23/2014 12:00 PM

Winter Storm Watch

WI AREAS AFFECTED: Ashland; Iron
Expires: 11/25/2014 8:00 AM

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement