Members of the American Postal Workers Local 2122 massed outside Bloomington’s downtown post office Tuesday, holding signs and distributing pamphlets protesting the transfer of sorting and canceling operations to the Indianapolis Processing and Distribution Center.
Union members held signs reading, “Don’t cancel our postmark” and exhorted residents to attend a Wednesday public meeting.
“We want to make the public aware of their misguided cost-cutting scheme and their effort to take the mail to Indianapolis,” said union spokesman Kevin McCaffrey.
McCaffrey said workers aren’t just out to save their jobs, because a contract provision already forbids layoffs. He and APW Branch Chief Michael Sexton say the bigger concern is a loss of efficiency and slower service Bloomington citizens would notice if the plan goes through.
“They’ve already taken away collection boxes and sources of input for your mail throughout the city,” Sexton said. They’re taking away your express mail boxes. And we just think Bloomington deserves better service than that.”
Under the plan, mail from Bloomington and other “474” zip codes would first travel to Indianapolis for sorting before returning to the area for delivery. Union reps say it could mean a piece of mail might take a week to be sent across town.
Postal Service numbers indicate relocating the processing facility would save $1.1 million dollars a year — part of a system-wide effort to alleviate a$7.2 billion deficit. Calls to U-S-P-S officials for comment were not returned.
Kristin Rust owns Bloomington’s New Leaf Landscaping and said the relocation would negatively affect her business.
“The post office is a pretty important part of the city. I’m a small business owner and I use the post office every day,” Rust said. “It would be a pretty big impact for me because I do a lot of my business transactions through the post office. I just like the personal attention that our local business does through here. It’s going to impact my business significantly.”