The stay of execution for Tacoma’s Postal Service mail processing and distribution center may be ending next year.
The mail sorting and distribution hub at 4001 S. Pine St. is now slated to be consolidated into the postal service’s Seattle processing center sometime next year, United States Postal Service spokesman Ernie Swanson said Monday.
The postal service first proposed the consolidation of the Tacoma facility and 241 like it across the country in 2011. The postal service has carried out 141 such mergers while 81 remain, Swanson said. Among those is Tacoma.
The post office slowed the consolidation action after both its customers and Congress protested. But it continued the process at a slower pace, said Swanson.
The Everett process and distribution center, for instance, has already been merged into the Seattle facility at 10700 27th Ave. S. in Tukwila.
“The earliest that the Tacoma center would be moved is January,” Swanson said. “The latest is September.”
About 140 workers are employed at the Tacoma mail hub. Those workers were notified three years ago that their jobs would be affected by the consolidation. They’ve had the period to seek other jobs either within or without the postal service or to retire.
Under the proposed consolidation, the retail post office on Pine Street would remain open, and some limited sorting and distribution for local communities would continue at the building.
The postal service is consolidating its operations to save an estimated $750 million annually. The agency has lost billions in recent years because of declining mail volumes and new competition.