Postal workers fear consolidation, Town Hall meeting set

On Friday, 183 postal workers were informed they might either lose their jobs or travel to Greensboro for work after threats of a mail processing consolidation.

Norman Allen, of Claremont and an employee with the Hickory Processing and Distribution Center in Conover, asked for support from Catawba County Commissioners on Monday during the commissioners' scheduled meeting to stop the mail processing center consolidation.

"We were told Friday there will be a Town Hall meeting on May 17 to propose closing the (Hickory) facility and taking all operations to Greensboro," Allen said. "(This move) will hurt the economy in this area."

Allen said the processing center has 183 employees. Allen said there are 200 jobs, but there are currently available positions at the center.

Since Feb. 9, when the U.S. Postal Service announced consideration of a consolidation of the mail processing center with the Greensboro facility, Allen said complaints increased because of delayed mail.

Conover City Manager Donald Duncan Jr. previously told The O-N-E that the city noticed an increase in its undeliverable mail after the county's processing facility was partially consolidated with the Greensboro center in early 2010. Duncan said the city was receiving at least four undeliverable pieces of mail a month after the 2010 partial consolidation.

Commissioner Dan Hunsucker asked how the Board of Commissioners can help Allen and his co-workers keep their jobs and allow for mail to stay on time in Catawba County.

Allen explained that more than a year ago, commissioners devised a resolution proclaiming they the board is against a consolidation of the Hickory processing center with the Greensboro facility. Allen, along with three other postal employees, urged commissioners to pass another resolution showing their support to keep jobs in the county.

Commissioner Randy Isenhower asked Allen if employees at the local processing center will have to relocate to Greensboro. Allen explained that temporary employees at the Hickory processing facility will be "let go," while part-time and full-time employees will be transferred to Greensboro.

Catawba County Commissioners unanimously agreed to draft a resolution to be signed by the board to stop a consolidation with the Greensboro facility.

Allen said the Town Hall meeting is 6-8:30 p.m. May 17 at the Catawba Science Center in Hickory. The public is invited to attend.