The United States Postal Service says a plan to consolidate 18 mail processing facilities around the country won't result in layoffs, but the American Postal Workers Union is still crying foul. The union warns that closing the facilities will cause further mail delays and will cause hardships for rural customers in particular, NBC reports. Under the plan announced Wednesday, mail will be redirected to different centers, in some cases hours away, which the union warns could delay mail for days. The affected facilities include processing centers in Oregon, Kentucky, Florida, New York, Alabama, and Pennsylvania.
"Previous plant closures and consolidations were a complete failure that only cut service, slowed down mail, and disrupted workers' lives," APWU President Mark Dimondstein said in a statement. "After a year of courageous and essential frontline work in this pandemic, management’s actions are a slap in the face of postal workers," he said, per the Hill. The USPS said that the consolidations are part of a program in the works since 2015 to maintain "financial sustainability and service excellence." The service said it is looking into repurposing the 18 mail facilities for package processing. (President Biden has nominated board members who could help oust much-criticized Postmaster General Louis DeJoy.)