Mail processing operations to consolidate in Spokane

Mail processing operations in Pasco, Yakima and Wenatchee will move to Spokane’s processing center on the West Plains, the U.S. Postal Service said today. The Postal Service will cut more than 300 jobs in Washington as it consolidates mail processing. In addition to the Spokane center absorbing more work, sorting operations in Everett, Olympia and Tacoma will transfer to Seattle. Spokesman Ernie Swanson says 97 jobs will be cut in Everett, 29 in Olympia, 139 in Tacoma, 19 in Yakima, 20 in Wenatchee and two in Pasco. Swanson says the Postal Service hopes the cuts can be made through attrition without layoffs. Employees whose jobs have been cut can request transfers or move into jobs such a letter-carrier, if there are openings. The Postal Service is trying to slash $3 billion in spending and avert bankruptcy. Nationwide it plans to eliminate about 30,000 jobs and close 252 mail processing centers. “The decision to consolidate mail processing facilities recognizes the urgent need to reduce the size of the national mail processing network to eliminate costly underutilized infrastructure,” Chief Operating Officer Megan Brennan said in a statement. “Consolidating operations is necessary if the Postal Service is to remain viable to provide mail service to the nation.” The Postal Service has experienced a 25 percent decline in first-class mail volume since 2006. It receives no tax dollars for operations, relying instead on the sale of postage, postal products and services. No dates have been set for moving the mail processing to Spokane. For now, residential and business mail will continue to be served through the facilities in Pasco, Yakima and Wenatchee.