LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC-TV) – Monday marked the start of all Lake Charles mail going to Lafayette for processing and by most accounts, things got of to a late start.
At noon, mail carriers at the main post office branch in downtown Lake Charles were still waiting for mail to be delivered from the Lafayette plant.
According to Gene Nichols, president of the American Postal Workers Local 223, the delays weren't just reported in Lake Charles.
"What I'm hearing from the offices in the area is that a lot of the mail has not arrived yet or it arrived several hours late," said Nichols.
Once the mail did arrive after noon, carriers had to sort the mail before starting their deliveries.
KPLC received calls from several people throughout the day on Monday, wondering why their mail was running late. Some viewers said their mail was running more than three hours late.
Nichols said he understood their concerns and advised them to call their local post office or elected officials to complain.
"But I'm afraid – and this is just me – that it's too late to do the complaining," said Nichols, adding that the chances were slim to none that the plant would ever be moved back to Lake Charles.
The U.S. Postal Service said it stands by its decision to relocate the Lake Charles mail processing center to Lafayette. A spokesman said the move will save their struggling organization money. The spokesman also noted that the Lafayette plant could process more mail and noted that much of Southwest Louisiana's mail has already been going through Lafayette for some time.
The Postal Service also said no employees from Lake Charles would lose their jobs, but they may have to relocate to another office.