Fate of Redmond’s East DDC in question following federal push for US Postal Service consolidation (Photo by Cameron Sheppard/Sound Publishing)

Fate of Redmond’s East DDC in question following federal push for US Postal Service consolidation (Photo by Cameron Sheppard/Sound Publishing)

Postal workers concerned about USPS consolidation, impact on region’s mail delivery

Cities affected would be Mercer Island, Bellevue, Issaquah, North Bend, Snoqualmie, Snoqualmie Pass, Carnation, Duvall, Fall City, Mill Creek, Bothell, Woodinville, Lynnwood, Edmonds, Kirkland and Redmond.

Postal workers in the region are raising concerns about the ongoing consolidation of the U.S. Postal Service that they say will only reduce delivery service standards for the region as a whole.

In October 2021, postal workers at Redmond’s USPS distribution center, called the East DDC, protested as the threat of closing the center loomed over their heads. They picketed, not for their jobs, as they were told they would be relocated if it were shut down, but because they were concerned about a trend of delivery service standards continuing to fall across the region.

On Jan. 5, after touring the facility with administrators, Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (D-District 1) met with postal union representatives to gain their perspective on the declining services, work conditions and morale issues inside East DDC.

Robert Jared of the GSAL-APWU Local 28 union said the facility is down to seven mail processing machines from the 16 they had only a few years ago. He said that the facility is also understaffed and desperately needs manpower because machines are being assigned with one person, an unprecedented “no-no,” according to him.

GSAL-APWU Local 28 Union Representative David Yao said Postmaster General Louis DeJoy lowered delivery standards and lengthened delivery times in order to save money, but Yao argued the projected savings were not significant enough to warrant a decrease in quality of service.

Don Sneesby of the National Mail Handlers Union Local 316 said first class mail that would have been delivered overnight now can take up to six weeks to reach its destination.

Yao said USPS has nationally been reducing services in line with a projection of slowly decreasing letter mail volume, but he said the cost-savings projection was somewhere near a mere 5 percent.

“Even though nationwide letter volumes are dropping, we are a growing region,” Yao said.

DelBene said the demographics projections that were used to make this decision were based on decade-old assessments.

DelBene is a co-sponsor of H.R. 3076, the Postal Service Reform Act of 2021, which among other things would protect six-day delivery, require the Postal Regulatory Commission and the USPS IG to study the causes of inefficiencies related to flat mail delivery, and require USPS to publish weekly performance data on a public dashboard.

The postal workers union reps agreed that the East DDC is understaffed and has low morale as workers are overworked, and recognized barriers to recruiting new hires.

Yao said that housing affordability and availability are definitely a barrier to bringing in new staff who may not be able to afford to live in Redmond and may not want to commute long distances. He also said new hires often quit when they realize they must work 14- and 15-hour shifts with the heavy demand on letter and parcel delivery as a consequence of the pandemic.

Sneesby pointed out that they are only able to offer low entry-level wages, which makes them a less competitive employer.

On Dec. 13, 2021, the unions were notified by management that the move date for the East DDC facility is Feb. 26, 2022. DelBene’s office said the following cities’ mail delivery will be impacted: Mercer Island, Bellevue, Issaquah, North Bend, Snoqualmie, Snoqualmie Pass, Carnation, Duvall, Fall City, Mill Creek, Bothell, Woodinville, Lynnwood, Edmonds, Kirkland, and Redmond.

During her tour with East DDC administrators, DelBene said she was told that the move was no longer anticipated for that date, leaving postal workers further confused and in the dark about the future of the facility.

She acknowledged the strategic location of Redmond’s East DDC for the region, and fears the impacts that its shut down would have on the region’s delivery services and the traffic impacts it could have if the facility’s service were deferred to other locations.

“It would be difficult to manage those volumes elsewhere,” said Sneesby.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@bellevuereporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.bellevuereporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in News

Courtesy photo
State offers free at-home COVID-19 tests

You can order the tests through the state’s new online portal.

Sen. Mona Das, D-47
Kent Democratic Sen. Mona Das proposes 1% cut in state sales tax

Starting in 2023; Republicans voice support for Senate Bill 5932

File photo
Non-profit sponsors study on how the pandemic impacted arts and culture in Puget Sound

The study helped identify challenges faced by residents and cultural organizations in Washington

An Axon body-worn police camera. Courtesy photo
Bellevue Police Department talks police reform and body worn cameras with community

The department will continue community discussions regarding police reforms and the use of BWC’s.

File photo
WA lawmakers propose making companies responsible for recycling improvements

SB 5697 would compel industries to report data, invest in infrastructure, meet standards.

Governor Jay Inslee. Sound Publishing file photo
Inslee: Officials’ lies about election results should be crime

Governor wants lawmakers to pass legislation making it a gross misdemeanor.

Screenshot of Bellevue Police Twitter video of landslide wreckage
City of Bellevue officials are working to get Somerset Neighborhood residents displaced by landslide back into their homes

The investigation into what caused the broken water main might take weeks, if not months.

Damage and debris caused by flooding (screenshot from Bellevue Police Department Twitter)
Broken water main causes Bellevue home to slide off of its foundation and collapse

The flooding and debris prompted an evacuation of homes in the area.

Most Read