Fayetteville, N.C. — Fayetteville will lose 400 jobs when the U.S. Postal Service completes a consolidation plan that will see operations move from two centers in the city to Charlotte.
Lewis Tucker, who retired from the postal service after 35 years, may not be losing a job, but he is losing a neighbor. Tucker lives across the street from a mail processing plant on Downing Road. He has become used to the trucks and people going in and out.
"I think it is a sad time for the postal service," Tucker said.
The processing center on Downing Road and another on Green Street will close, although a date has not yet been set. Many of the jobs will be transferred to Charlotte, but more than 100 will be eliminated entirely.
"We are in a dire financial crisis right now," said Monica Robbs, a USPS spokeswoman. "This is a combination of several things."
The advent of email and other electronic message delivery services means less work for the postal service. The recent recession saw businesses cut back on shipping as well. The USPS says the move will save $22 million. More than 250 processing centers across the country will see cuts.
Tony McKinnon, president of the American Postal Workers Union in the Fayetteville area, doesn't buy it. "It is a manufactured crisis," he said.
McKinnon points to politics. He says the postal service cannot operate under cuts made by Congress and added, costly mandates.
"It is not to say that we don't need some changes, but the changes they are doing now is cutting out the heart of the service," he said.