Jack Walker Published

USPS Will Move W.Va. Mail Processing To Pittsburgh, Despite Pushback

Postal center signpost in front of a fence and a building
The Charleston Processing and Distribution Center is the only full United States Postal Service mail processing facility in West Virginia.
Randy Yohe/West Virginia Public Broadcasting

After months of deliberation, the United States Postal Service (USPS) announced Tuesday that it will consolidate a South Charleston facility and move some mail processing operations to the Pittsburgh area.

The decision follows intense debate over the future of the Charleston Processing and Distribution Center, which is the only full USPS mail processing center in West Virginia.

Plans for the consolidation were announced in fall 2023. Union representatives worried the shift would bring layoffs for temporary employees, or location reassignments for career employees.

They also said mail delivery times could increase for West Virginia residents if processing services were moved out of state.

State lawmakers — plus Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va. — echoed concerns over the consolidation publicly.

But USPS officials have denied claims that delivery times could be impacted by the facility change.

In a press release Tuesday, they also confirmed that no career employees would be laid off through the new plans.

That doesn’t mean workers will be unaffected. Temporary workers could still be laid off through the restructuring, and full-time employees could be reassigned to locations outside Kanawha County.

However, any staff changes will follow collective bargaining agreements from the local postal workers union, according to the USPS press release.

The changes come as part of a ten-year plan from USPS to restructure operations nationally.

Postal workers hold signs that read "Save Don't Delay."
Members of the Charleston-based American Postal Workers Union 133 have hosted informational pickets since late 2023 over the proposed downsizing of a local mail processing facility.
Photo Courtesy of Tim Holstein/American Postal Workers Union Local 133

Some union representatives have expressed concerns that the changes will reduce jobs and mail services for rural communities most acutely.

But the West Virginia consolidation also comes with an investment.

According to USPS, nearly $23 million will be invested in the South Charleston facility to modernize services, improve technology and renovate break rooms.

Still, representatives with the Charleston-area American Postal Workers Union Local 133 (APWU) said they do not see the investment as a cause for celebration.

“While it is to no surprise the regurgitated language specified in this release seems to be positive, postal employees across the United States know otherwise,” Tim Holstein, vice president of APWU 133, wrote in a statement provided to West Virginia Public broadcasting.

Holstein wrote that the union’s concerns with increased delivery times and mail costs have not been quashed.

While the USPS might have reached a decision, Holstein said union workers still plan to challenge the changes to come.

“[APWU President Craig] Brown and I will continue fighting this consolidation to the fullest extent our contractual provisions allow,” he wrote.

“We request that members of the public continue to contact their senators, congressmen and congresswomen in opposition to this now planned change.”