QUEENSGATE, OH (FOX19) - Employees of the United States Postal Service Distribution Center in Queensgate will join workers across the nation on Friday in protesting planned cuts to mail service.
USPS is planning to shut down 82 plants in January 2015 as part of a 2011 downsizing plan to that would save a reported $2.1 billion each year.
The plant consolidations would most affect first-class mail, meaning personal letters, bills and greeting cards that are normally delivered overnight would take two days after the closures. Priority mail and packages won't be impacted.
Employees deny the Postal Service's claims it can't make a profit, and say the cutbacks will hurt the agency rather than help it when customers find the service slower and less reliable.
A statement from the postal service says in part:
"The fact is that U.S. Mail is changing. There are now fewer letters and considerably more packages, and the network must reflect that."
USPS closed 141 processing facilities between 2012 and 2013 in the first phase of consolidation with the second phase pushed back to January 2015.
The Queensgate informational picket begins Friday at 5 p.m. until 6 p.m. at the Main Processing and Distribution Center on Dalton Avenue.
The Postal Service says there were no bargaining unit layoffs and there will be a transition for employees in the affected facilities. The consolidation plan will reduce costs by $20 billion by 2017 and make the Postal Service financially stable, officials say.
The official statement from David Van Allen, USPS Corporate Communications:
"Like any successful organization, the Postal Service understands it must make operational changes to adapt to meet the changing needs of the American public. The fact is that U.S. Mail is changing. There are now fewer letters and considerably more packages, and the network must reflect that.
With major volume decreases in First- Class Mail, the Postal Service has significant excess capacity in its network and cannot sit idly by and do nothing. The Postal Service firmly believes that the operational changes being implemented are necessary. In the process, the Postal Service has sought to minimize impact to customers and employees.
Making these changes will enhance the viability of the organization and its ability to continue providing service in the future."