Postal Workers Protest Planned Closures

By Sarah Birnbaum

Mar. 21, 2012

post office

The Inman Square, Cambridge post office was on the original list of those considered for closing. (Ibby Caputo/WGBH)

BOSTON — Advocates and postal workers rallied Wednesday at the Massachusetts State House, warning of service delays and job losses due to planned post office and mail processing center closures in the state.
More than 40 post office locations in Massachusetts are slated to close this summer, including branches in Boston, Dorchester, Newton, Fall River, Medford, Springfield and Worcester.
But the bigger impact could come from plans to close five mail sorting centers in the state, in Brockton, Waltham, Cape Cod, Shrewsbury and Springfield. See the list of facility closures.
A significant portion of incoming and outgoing mail currently processed in state would be rerouted through Connecticut and Rhode Island, slowing delivery times.
Ramona Daniel, president of the Massachusetts Rural Letter Carriers Association on Cape Cod, said the closures would double and triple the amount of time it would take to deliver a package or letter:
“The post office would like to drop our delivery standards to two to three days instead of one day," she said. "That will impact every customer and that will impact all of my carriers because we will be the one customers will be yelling at because their mail isn’t on time or their card is late.” 
Thousands of jobs could be at stake. And not just any jobs, said Dennis Avery, who works at the Waltham plant slated to close.
“The postal service has already provided me with a decent wage, a livable wage, good benefits … something that supports me and my family," he said. "I was able to get married, buy a house, have kids, support them. And I mean, that’s being taken away.” 
The postal service has said the closures are on hold until May 15 to allow federal lawmakers time to come up with an alternative plan. The service has lost business in the email age. It lost $8 billion last year, and its debt is skyrocketing. The mail center consolidations and closures are part of a plan to save $20 billion by 2015.


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