CHARLESTON, W.Va. — U.S. Senator Joe Manchin spoke Friday to members of the American Postal Workers Union at their annual convention in Beckley.

Joe Manchin

Manchin fielded a number of questions about the U.S. Postal Service and he also talked about the recent decision by the USPS to change the operations at the processing and distribution facility in Charleston at Southridge to a local processing center.

Manchin said he’s still waiting for the agency to answer his request for an audit of how the decision was made.

“There’s no need for them to delay this audit because they had to make a decision. Just show us how you made this decision and we’ll tell you if the audit is going to be acceptable or not,” Manchin said.

A review of the Charleston operation began last November. A decision was announced April 2 that some operations will be heading to Pittsburgh, PA and Pennwood, PA.

Manchin wants to know why.

“Tell us why you did what you did–why you changed everything,” he said.

Manchin said he can’t be convinced that moving some of the operations to Pittsburgh will be more efficient.

“Most of Charleston (Processing & Distribution Center) serves the rural area, when you look at West Virginia as we know it and you look over in Kentucky and down into Virginia and those are all rural areas. And you tell me that Pittsburgh will be able to serve them? I don’t think so but we’ll see,” Manchin said.

Initial results from the postal service projected the loss of 26 positions at the Charleston facility with the move. Union officials have said they believe the number will be higher.

WJLS Radio Reporter Keith Thompson contributed to this story.