Randy Yohe Published

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito Presses USPS Chief On Future Of Charleston Facility

Postal center signpost in front of a fence and a building
W.Va. Mail Processing and Distribution Center
Randy Yohe/West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito had some pointed questions composed in a letter to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy about West Virginia’s mail processing center. 

Faced with downsizing nationwide, the United States Postal Service (USPS) is conducting a review of the Mail Processing and Distribution Center in South Charleson and its 800 jobs. DeJoy’s ten-year “Delivering for America” postal transformation plan includes overhauling regional mail processing and distribution centers and “leveraging” existing sites in the process.

DeJoy has said there will not be layoffs at the facility. Capito said people can “read between the lines on what that really might mean.”     

“Are you going to be transferring jobs and you’re not going to get laid off, but you have to move?’ Capito said. “Are you going to bring other jobs that are low paying jobs that you can take, and therefore nobody would get laid off? You can see there’s a lot of gray area there.”

In the letter, Capito said she understands the need for the USPS to review its operations and to improve upon them. She asked that USPS conduct the review “without any preconceived notions as to specific outcomes such as those noted in an initial announcement.”

Capito submitted written questions to Dejoy, asking for responses by December 14. Among the questions raised:

1. While you stated that there will not be any layoffs, there could be transfers to other centers. Could these potential transfers be out of state?

2. If some functions are removed from the center, could those employees’ roles be downgraded, could they have lateral position options, or could they have other options aside from transferring if their function is moved from the center?

3. How is operational efficiency defined? Is it purely as a means to save on costs without significant service changes? If so, how are significant service changes defined?

Leaders with the American Postal Workers Union Local 133 continue to believe the probable plan of the USPS is to close or downsize the facility and process and distribute West Virginia mail out of Pennsylvania, highlighting Pittsburgh. About 500 positions at the center are union jobs.  

The union is staging informational pickets on Thursday and Saturday.  There is an upcoming public meeting scheduled on the facility review.

West Virginia Public Broadcasting reached out to USPS for comment but as of publication of this story had received no response.