While a Queens mail processing center thought its days were numbered, the once possibly doomed facility is getting a stay of execution.
The processing and distribution center, located on 20th Avenue in College Point, has over 1,000 workers and was previously expected to officially cease operations on May 14 as part of a country-wide initiative to cut costs that began in 2011.
The United States Postal Service (USPS) announced plans to move forward with consolidation among its network of 461 mail processing locations in phases. The first segment will lead to the closure of up to 140 locations through February of 2013. Unless the circumstances of the Postal Service change in the interim, a second and final phase, combining 89 facilities, is currently scheduled to start in February of 2014. Consolidations will mostly involve moving operations from smaller to larger facilities and no consolidating activity will occur between September and December due to the high volume of mail sent during the holiday season.
Nationwide consolidation efforts are projected to generate approximately $2.1 billion in annual cost reductions, and lead to total workforce reduction of up to 28,000 employees.
According to a representative from the USPS, employees will begin receiving notifications in the coming weeks about this initiative. Some will be reassigned to other centers, but others may not be so lucky.
But for now, Congressmember Joe Crowley applauded the USPS’s decision to keep the College Point mail processing center open.
“I am so glad the Queens Processing and Distribution Center will remain open and will continue to serve the Queens community,” said Crowley. “Closing this facility would have severely impacted businesses and residents in the community that rely on the center day in and day out. It also would have stripped away hundreds of jobs from Queens at a time when we need every job we can get.”
Prior to the moratorium, the USPS reviewed several facilities. Officials still have not made a final decision about which centers will close.