Reporting Gigi Barnett
FREDERICK, Md. (WJZ)– Massive closures are on the way for post offices and branches nationwide. It’s how the postal service plans to save some cash in a sluggish economy.
But as Gigi Barnett explains, the move has sparked a protest to save one of Frederick County’s processing plants.
“We don’t want a taxpayers’ bailout! We just want to get the mail out!” protesters yelled.
The protesters are homeowners, business owners and postal workers who say the mail is always late.
“There’s one day in the week when I do not get any mail at all– no standard mail, no first-class mail,” retired postal worker Fran Owens said.
They call this demonstration a fight-back because the U.S. Postal Service shut down the mail processing plant in Frederick last year.
“I’m sure they had to do some changes in the postal service but they don’t have to do things this extreme,” mail carrier Susan Ledford said.
Last year, the postal service slated about 3,700 post offices and plants nationwide for downsizing and complete closure. The proposed cuts are the largest in postal service history.
“If the postmaster general’s plan is implemented, that is what’s going to happen — the service delays etc., the lack of manpower. If he gets rid of all the employees he wants to, that’s going to decrease service,” Rich Shelley of the American Postal Service Union said. “And that’s no way to save a business.”
More than 120 of the post offices and plants set to close are in Maryland and Virginia. For postal workers, that’s cause to protest.
“We see a lot of hazards to our customers,” Ledford said. “And this is not about us, necessarily. It is, because we’re going to lose our jobs, but this is about our customers.”
USPS says its proposed cuts will serve about $200 million every year.
USPS says it is on track to cut costs by $20 billion by 2015.