USPS to close Eau Claire distribution center, three other Wisconsin facilities

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MADISON, Wis. (WEAU) -- The U.S. Postal Service plans to close its distribution center in Eau Claire next year, along with three other Wisconsin distribution centers.

The Eau Claire facility is on Hogarth Street. It employed 110 people in 2011. Its operations will move to a sorting center in St. Paul, Minnesota. Centers in La Crosse, Madison, and Rothschild are set to close as well. The Rothschild center handles almost all of central Wisconsin's mail. It employed 163 workers in 2012. The postal service says no jobs will be lost. The workers will all be reassigned.

In 2011, the postal service announced it was considering the closures of five centers along with more than 200 others across the country. At the time, it said it was trying to get out from under $8,500,000,000 in debt. It was also trying to keep the agency viable in a struggling economy and at a time when fewer people had been mailing letters and packages.
ST. PAUL, Minn. (US POSTAL SERVICE NEWS RELEASE) -- Today, the U.S. Postal Service advised customers of its intent to resume network rationalization activities, by consolidating up to 82 facilities, beginning January 2015. These activities will be completed by the fall mailing season. This is a continuation of network rationalization activity approved by the Postal Service Board of Governors in 2011.

In the last three years, the Postal Service recorded financial losses of $26 billion. As an organization that receives no tax-payer funds to pay for operating costs and derives all of its revenues from the sale of our products and services, the Postal Service continues to face significant financial challenges associated with the decline of First-Class Mail volume and revenue, wage and benefit inflation, increasing operating costs, as well as legislative mandates and significant debt pressures.
Moreover, the uncertainty regarding legislative reform and review of postal rates in the courts continues to delay needed capital investments in network operations and undermine the future financial viability of the Postal Service.

In 2012 and 2013, the Postal Service consolidated 141 mail processing facilities. This rationalization of our network was highly successful, resulted in negligible service impact, required no employee layoffs, and generates annual cost savings of approximately $865 million. The Postal Service expects the completion of network rationalization will generate an additional $750 million in annual savings.

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