Postal service moving ahead with plans to shift regional mail distribution to Boston from Manchester

Apr. 2—The United States Postal Service announced Tuesday it plans to move ahead with a proposal to invest up to $15.7 million to modernize its processing and distribution center in Manchester, while transferring the processing of outgoing mail about 50 miles away in Boston.

The announcement comes after a review of public feedback on the facility's future. While determining the Manchester facility will remain open and modernized as a Local Processing Center (LPC), "the business case supports transferring mail processing outgoing operations to the Boston P&DC in Boston, Mass.," the U.S. Postal Service said in a news release. "Currently, a majority of mail and packages are destined outside the Manchester area to the rest of the world," the news release said.

The new arrangement is part of the U.S. Postal Service's $40 billion investment in system upgrades nationwide.

According to postal officials, the $15.7 million being invested in the Manchester facility will "result in expanded and streamlined package and mail processing and distribution capabilities for the facility."

"These facilities will allow the Postal Service to provide faster and more reliable mail and package delivery over a greater geographic area," the postal service said. "S&DCs will have upgraded sorting equipment, offer Same Day or Next Day delivery options, and provide better facilities for Postal Service employees."

USPS also announced there will be no career layoffs as part of the initiative.

"All career bargaining unit reassignments, as well as any reduction in any number of pre-career employees, will be made in accordance with respective collective bargaining agreements," the Postal Service news release said. "As part of its strategy, the Postal Service is enhancing package processing and shipping capacity, which may result in increased plant activity and the need for additional support in the future."

Postal officials say once the changes are implemented, business mail entry, post office, station, and branch retail services in Manchester are not expected to change, and "delivery services will be enhanced."

Union workers at the Manchester center said in February the plans to consolidate workers and equipment in Boston will cost jobs and slow mail delivery.

Dana Coletti, president of Manchester Area Local American Postal Workers Union, said up to 70% of the mail processing equipment was slated to be removed and the building essentially gutted.

"They are calling it modernization. I call it degradation," Coletti said during a February news conference.

The state's congressional delegation — Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan and U.S. Reps. Annie Kuster and Chris Pappas — also spoke against the proposal.

A public hearing held in February on the consolidation proposal attracted about 250 angry postal workers and customers concerned about delivery delays and potential layoffs.

Attempts to reach union officials Tuesday for comment were unsuccessful.