SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) – For 12 years, Justin Turner has been one of about 800 employees at the United States Postal Service (USPS) Processing and Distribution Center in South Charleston.
Turner was shocked to hear about the USPS review of the facility and possible plans for consolidation.
“When did you first hear about the news of possible consolidation?” said WSAZ’s Kim Rafferty.
“The day before Thanksgiving,” Turner said.
Now Turner said he feels left in the dark.
“Worried. I think nobody really knows what is going on yet, so we don’t know, and it is the fact that we don’t know what is going to happen yet is what we are all worried about,” said Turner. “If everybody would like to go take that survey and just hear your opinion on it if you want to keep the plant here it would be 800 people that would definitely be thankful.”
USPS said the review is part of a 10-year, $40 billion plan to modernize the nation’s aging postal system.
The Local Postal Workers Union 133 said USPS is considering consolidating the center to two facilities in Pennwood and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice and U.S. Senators Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., released statements supporting the 800 jobs at the plant. A spokesperson from Sen. Manchin’s office also said a statement would be sent about the center.
Sen. Shelley Moore Capito: “I am concerned of the news that the USPS is considering moving a distribution plant in South Charleston to Pennsylvania. While this decision is not final, I am in the process of seeking answers from USPS. My priority is making sure our hardworking West Virginians—like those that are employed by this USPS facility—have certainty, and I will do whatever I can to make sure these men and women are supported.”
Sen. Joe Manchin: “There is absolutely no reason to move our West Virginia mail processing facility to another state. I will do everything within my power to prevent the loss of this facility. The U.S. Postal Service should reverse its deeply flawed and misguided plan to conduct a Mail Processing Facility Review of its Charleston Processing and Distribution Center (P&DC) facility, which would disproportionately harm a vital lifeline for the people of West Virginia. This review blatantly ignores West Virginians’ concerns about a significant decrease in local services as well as a dramatic adverse economic impact on the postal workers who kept our country running during the pandemic. Many of my constituents are older Americans or Veterans who live in rural communities and desperately rely on timely postal services for life-saving medications or hard-earned federal benefits. I urge every West Virginian to submit initial comments at and remain engaged throughout the public comment period. We cannot allow the Postal Service to jeopardize our lives and livelihoods.”
South Charleston Mayor Frank Mullens also spoke about the facility.
“You hate to see that happen. I am hoping the evaluation comes back and in a positive way,” Mullens said. “There may be some new products that may be used in this facility in the future, as well, so hopefully it is an evaluation of not only this facility but the service as a whole, and we will still have a role in that,” Mullens said.