Action Sought By Lafayette Postal Union To Halt Scalebacks At Local Facility
Lafayette City-Parish Council vice chairman Kenneth Boudreaux is asking Lafayette Consolidated Government to join the fight to save the Moss Street postal processing facility, one of four remaining facilities statewide.
Lafayette's mail service is being compromised "for no less reason than we are not putting up the fight," Boudreaux said. "I personally think that we need to light a fire underneath this community and we need to fight back."
All mail sent through the Moss Street facility must be processed in Baton Rouge, whether it's sent across the country or across the street. That extra step means mail takes at least three days minimum to reach its destination.
That service standard still means something.
This creates logistical problems, according to Joshua Montgomery, president of the Lafayette chapter of the American Postal Workers Union. He said at the Feb. 25 council meeting that during ice storms earlier this month, for example, mail processing in Lafayette shut down for two days when mail trucks couldn't cross the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge.
Such delays are unacceptable, Montgomery said, noting that service used to be next-day until facilities began consolidating.
"That service standard still means something," he told the council.
Montgomery said the Lafayette facility ranks No. 1 for worker performance in all of Louisiana. Only four of nine processing facilities still exist in the state: in Lafayette, Lake Charles, Baton Rouge and New Orleans.
Pushes to scale back operations at the Moss Street facility began in 2011 as the postal service began consolidating nationwide. Montgomery said some local processing has since been moved to Baton Rouge, and further scalebacks would force postal workers to relocate.
Boudreaux urged the Lafayette Chamber of Commerce to take action, as well.
If the Moss Street location were closed, it would be "the largest abandoned public facility in the state of Louisiana," Boudreaux said, "and we cannot afford for that to happen."
Montgomery said U.S. Sen. David Vitter and U.S. Rep. Charles Boustany have agreed to take steps in support of saving the Lafayette facility.