Tucson's mail processing operations are moving to Phoenix

USPS Customer Relations Coordinator Rob Soler

Tucson's mail processing operations are moving to Phoenix

CREATED Feb 23, 2012

Reporter: Valerie Cavazos

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) -- It's official.  The Postal Service announced that the Tucson's mail processing operations are moving to Phoenix. But the Postal Service says all of the changes will be invisible to most of us. Some are not so convinced.

The slogan reads: If it fits, it ships.  It's a growing base of business for the United States Postal Service, but USPS says even the success of that service couldn't compensate for a weak economy and internet explosion. Since 2006, first class mail dropped 25 percent -- digging deep into the bottom line. So the decision was made to consolidate the mail processing centers in Tucson and in Phoenix -- the 3rd largest facility in the country.  "And those machines are only running 6 hours a day. They need to be running 18. And quite frankly we can't maintain the cost of keeping those processing plants open if there isn't enough mail to sustain them," said USPS Customer Relations Coordinator Rob Soler.

So what does this mean for those of us receiving mail? The postal service says the letter that's mailed across town will take one more day to be delivered. "It will not affect delivery time for medications, priority mail, express mail and packages your send. you will not see retail windows closing," said Soler.

And he added that you will not see hundreds of postal workers in the unemployment lines. 223 positions in Tucson will be affected by the consolidation. "The postal service has a very good track record of finding employment for impacted employees elsewhere in the organization."

Some Tucson business owners, like Rumaldo Moreno of Innovative Mailing Services, were worried about losing their bulk mail discounts, but Moreno received word this afternoon that although the delivery will take a few days longer -- the costs will stay the same. "That would mean that we would maintain our competitive edge as far as our customers," said Moreno.

The transition will not happen right away. There is a moratorium until May 15th. The Postal Service has given Congress that time to introduce new legislation or come up with an alternative plan -- so it's business as usual until that time.

The Tucson Mayor and City Council members have been fighting the closing of the mail processing facility.  Councilman Richard Fimbres (Ward 5) says the fight is far from over. He and Councilwoman Regina Romero (Ward 1) contend the changes would severely impact businesses and the upcoming elections because of a possible delay in vote-by-mail deliveries.