Post Office Closures Would Lead to Slower Mail

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LANSING -- Jesus Gonzales has worked at the processing center at the Lansing Post Office most of his career.

He likely won't be working in that capacity much longer.

"Essentially, they're breaking the mail up," he says.

The United States Postal Service announced Thursday it is planning to close the processing portion 264 facilities -- including those in Lansing and Jackson -- at some point after May 15, when a moratorium on consolidations ends.

In Lansing alone, that could impact the jobs of more than 400 people.

"A lot of uncertainty," Gonzales says about the situation. "Really, the Postal Service didn't have a lot of answers for the employees on what is going to transpire when this actually takes place."

Gonzales says, under a collective bargaining agreement, the USPS can't lay those workers off. But they could offer them retirement packages or force them to move elsewhere in the state.

"You can assume that there's going to be some anxiety," says spokeswoman Sabrina Todd. "There's going to be some concern."

Todd says the USPS had little choice. It's losing billions of dollars every year -- $3.3 billion in the last quarter alone.

Lansing's mail, if the closures go through this spring or summer, will now be processed in Grand Rapids and Pontiac.

Jackson's will go to Detroit.

Todd says hat could mean some delays for local mail.

"It may mean a day or two longer for local mail within this area," she says, because it'll have to go from Lansing to Grand Rapids, then back to Lansing.

The USPS said Thursday first-class mail will take 2-3 business days under the plan, instead of the current 1-2 days standard.

But Gonzales and Todd both want to assure everybody.

"We're still gonna be here," Todd says. "The Postal Service -- we're making those tough decisions so that we can remain viable for the future because we want to be able to deliver to America."

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