For more than a year, people have worried about the postal service's plans to consolidate Roanoke and Lynchburg to save money. Starting Saturday all of Lynchburg's mail here will be sorted in Roanoke. The attention now turns to Roanoke's facility, says local union president Carlton Cooper.
"I was devastated, I am concerned we have 500 employees in this building and their lives will be deeply affected," says Cooper.
For a while Roanoke's employees felt they wouldn't move to Greensboro. After all Lynchburg moved it equipment and some employees to Roanoke. Until 2015 union contracts prevent moving workers more than 50 miles. From here to Greensboro is almost 100, but now it isn't a letter but an email that could change that feeling.
Cooper got an email from the postal service saying they wanted to discuss moving up the timetable for moving Roanoke's operations to Greensboro from June 2014 to June 2013.
"It is sad because we're selling employees sort and we are selling our company short," says Cooper.
Postal service officials couldn't confirm the e-mail, and maintain the 2014 timeline. However Lynchburg is already a done deal. We checked with post office officials about the impact on its employees. It impacted 46 people, 35 transferred to Roanoke, with everyone else taking a severance package or being reassigned. The move saves them 4 million dollars.
James Crawford lives in Lynchburg and checks his mail several times a week, and worries what this means for him.
"I wish they would keep it here. If I mailed a letter today is it going to take one, two or three business days," says Crawford.
A spokeswoman with the united states postal service tells me customers here in Lynchburg won't notice a difference in their mail even though they are ending Saturday delivery this coming summer, packages that could include medications will be delivered on time.
In the meantime, workers fear the lights may be soon turned out at the Roanoke center as well.