4of5The West avenue postal handling plant in Stamford, where more than 300 employees might be impacted by a decision come close the plant.

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STAMFORD -- The U.S. Postal organization will consolidate Stamford"s Processing and also Distribution center with operations in Westchester, affecting 349 location at the West path postal facility in a move USPS is projecting would save $15.6 million annually.

The consolidation will not occur prior to May 15 since the USPS is following a moratorium ~ above postal service closures to offer Congress time to think about legislation influence the industry, USPS regional spokeswoman Christine Dugas claimed Friday.

Dugas claimed she did not have actually data on exactly how much mail is handle at the West path postal center, i beg your pardon she stated services ZIP codes start with 066, 068 and also 069.

Business letter entry systems in Stamford, where local businesses autumn off big mailings for processing, will not be had in the consolidation.

Stamford"s postal center on 427 West Ave. Employs around 400 mail clerks, handlers, sorters and other personnel. First-class mail, packaging and also all various other classes the mail processing will it is in consolidated through a Westchester facility 12 mile away, Dugas said. The move, if that overcomes union opposition and proceeds as planned, will affect about 350 Stamford positions.

"Although positions may be eliminated, it does no mean work would be lost," Dugas said. "So far, the postal business is proud to say the in our history, we"ve been able to manage these positions with attrition."

The American Postal workers Union"s contract prevents USPS indigenous laying turn off employees at the Stamford center. If the consolidation walk through, West avenue postal employees who carry out not wish to pensioner or leaving the postal company will most likely be readily available postal positions within a 50-mile commuting distance of Stamford, Dugas said. If workers room asked come move past the 50-mile radius, they will be noted with relocation benefits.

Karen Schneider, that has worked at Stamford"s Processing and also Distribution center for 39 years, said she will more than likely retire if the postal business offers employee a worthwhile departure package. Schneider, a Stamford resident, works 3:30 p.m. To midnight sorting letters.

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"It"s a an extremely physical job," she said. "You lift every day."

She stated she loves her job-related schedule because it offers her totally free time in the morning to work in her yard. She claimed she to be sad to hear the distribution center might close, yet understands the company is moving toward consolidation.

"We"re a family due to the fact that most of us have actually been right here for at least 20 years," she said. "But we have to admit that we have to consolidate in order to remain alive. It is time. It"s heartbreaking, but you have to go with the flow."

Stamford and Wallingford are the only distribution and processing centers scheduled for consolidation in Connecticut, Dugas said. A nationwide decline in postal business usage is forcing consolidations throughout the country. First-class mail volume has gone under 25 percent due to the fact that 2007 and also is intended to drop an additional 25 percent over the next several years, Dugas said.

"It"s unprecedented," Dugas said. "In part situations, we have machines that are just sorting mail because that a few hours a day because that"s exactly how much letter they have. If we consolidate operations, we can run the equipments all day and also gain efficiencies there. It just makes sense to re-examine our infrastructure to do the demands of today"s e-mail industry fulfill the requirements that us have."

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Cheryl Ingstrum, vice president because that the American Postal employees Union regional 240, which represents the Stamford Processing and Distribution Center, said the union is functioning to keep the West Avenue center open.

"Consolidating the tree will perform nothing but hurt the customers," Ingstrum said. "Their mail will be delayed, probably up to a week."

News of the feasible consolidation has put stress on the mail center"s employees and their families, she said.

"People don"t understand where they"re going," she said. "Just since the equipments are going to Westchester doesn"t median the world are walk there. Therefore it"s frustrating and also a little cruel since management hasn"t told lock what"s going to happen."

Sally Davidow, a spokeswoman because that the national American Postal workers Union, stated decreasing mail volume is no the cause of the USPS"s gaue won problems. The industry has come to be overburdened by the requirements of the 2006 Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, which calls for the postal company to prefund health care benefits for future retirees, she said.

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"This legislation is the reason of the problem," Davidlow said. "There"s no method that slashing service and destroying jobs and also hurting the local economy is the equipment to the postal services" problem. The postal company has to obtain corrections indigenous Congress. We are asking people to contact their congressmen and also tell castle to store the tree open."

U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., released a statement criticizing the merger.

"News of the United claims Postal Service"s will to close two of Connecticut"s three mail processing plants could not come at a worse time," that said. "As the state economy struggles to create jobs, the last thing we need is the ns of numerous postal positions and also delivery delays for customers and businesses -- both of which would take place if the Wallingford and Stamford mail handling plants room shuttered as planned."