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Posted October 27, 2006

Postal workers protest proposal

Consolidation of sorting facilities included in plan

By Jeff Bollier
Gannett Wisconsin Newspapers

OSHKOSH Members of the American Postal Workers Union put out an SOS Thursday afternoon.

"Save Our Service" read the signs that more than a dozen union members from Green Bay, Oshkosh and Wausau carried as they walked an informational picket line at lunchtime Thursday at the main post office here to raise awareness of a massive consolidation plan the U.S. Postal Service proposed almost a year ago.

Postal sorting facilities in Oshkosh, Madison and La Crosse have been targeted for possible consolidation into Green Bay, Milwaukee and Eau Claire, respectively, according to Postal Service documents. The Oshkosh demonstration, organized by the union's Local 178, was part of a nationwide picket conducted by postal workers to raise awareness that 140 plants nationwide could be consolidated.

"We wanted to let the community know what would go on if they take it (to Green Bay) and how it will impact their service," postal worker Jean Wald said. "The consolidation would only affect 30 or 40 workers here, but that's 30 to 40 people that will not be spending their dollars here in Oshkosh."

Postal Service officials have previously said no jobs would be cut because employees in Oshkosh would be given the opportunity to relocate to another office. And while sorting services may be consolidated, postal branches would remain open for customers to purchase stamps, rent mailboxes and use other services.

Steve Lord, of the Local 178, said a consolidation of sorting operations would mean mail from Oshkosh addresses would be sent to Green Bay for processing before it was sent on to its destination, even if it was destined for another Oshkosh address. He said the consolidation efforts cater to corporations more than citizens for whom the Postal Service was founded.

"Service standards would suffer because you can't process all that mail through a few offices and then get it back out quickly," Lord said.

Michael Livermore, a Pine River resident, said he would probably have to transfer to another distribution center if the consolidations happen, but his future isn't the reason he participated in the informational picket Thursday.

"Collection times would be earlier, so less mail would be picked up. It would be shipped back from Green Bay to Oshkosh later, so it definitely could affect delivery, too."

Jeff Bollier writes for the Oshkosh Northwestern.

Story Chat

POSTAL WORKERS Fri Oct 27, 2006 6:26 am
Sad AWW POOR POOR POSTAL WORKERS.

17 TO 35 DOLLARS AN HOUR AND THEY ARE GETING MISTREATED?

BACK OFF WHINERS [WEENIES]....ONE OF US WILL BE GLAD TO TAKE YOUR JOB IF YOU DONT WANT TO DO IT!

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