Postal workers continue fight against downsizing

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – As the U.S. Postal Service continues to streamline operations, and ultimately cut its costs by $20 billion, customers are about to see more changes.

Directors with the Postal Service confirm the new eased standards will mean two or three day delivery for First Class mail items that now take just a day to reach their destinations, and overnight delivery will be eliminated as of Jan. 5.

In July, 82 processing centers around the country, including Youngstown, will close. The closure will mean the loss of about 150 jobs. But union leaders worry the cuts will eventually work their way down to neighborhood carriers.

“Ultimately, what is happening is we are going to lose more business by the closing of the plant,” said Henry Gomez, National Association of Letter Carriers. “It is something that doesn’t have to happen.”

Workers were using this event and others like it around the country to call for a one-year moratorium on the downsizing, claiming the system made $1 billion last year after a string of losses.

Figures from the Postal Service state while revenues are higher compared to last year, expenses are twice as high. Volume is down two percent and First Class mailing, which is the most profitable, is down 53 percent over the last ten years.

“It has got to be a system that pays for itself,” said Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio. “Ultimately, we have got to figure out a better model.”

While Portman says he’d like to see the Postal Service come up with new sources of revenue, workers say they have already started handling neighborhood deliveries for companies like Fed-Ex and more is on the way.

“We are going to start the Amazon deliveries on Sunday. We are going what we need to draw business back,” Gomez said.

Workers fear if the cuts are imposed on schedule, the result will be even fewer people using the Postal Service.

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