David Wiley is one of the many who protested Albany’s post office sorting center’s possible closing Friday. If approved, the center will be taken over by the processing center in Tallahassee. The workers urge members of the public to attend an open meeting at Albany Technical College Tuesday evening.
ALBANY — Postal workers are protesting the proposed closing of the U.S. Postal Service’s Albany Customer Service Mail Processing Center, carrying signs urging the public to join in.
The workers could be seen downtown Friday, showing their signs and handing out fliers. Their plan is to appear over a greater area during the next four days, the workers said.
The proposal to close the center comes after a feasibility study by the U.S. Postal Service, later reviewed by the USPS North Florida District office. Given final approval, Albany mail would be processed at the Tallahassee USPS mail processing center.
David Wiley works in the evening processing mail for the Southwest Georgia area. Wiley said he heard about the proposal on the Monday before Thanksgiving during one of the employee group meetings at the center.
“It’s supposed to affect about 125 people on both sides,” Wiley said. “We don’t know how many jobs will be lost, but a lot of the people will have to move to another center.”
Angela Loud, primary organizer of the public protest, is a 14-year veteran of USPS, working in Albany as an automated letter sorter. She has her doubts whether the closing would be good for consumers.
“We have a 1-2 day delivery here right now,” Loud said. “We’re told it will go to 2-3 days if this is done, but we just don’t know.”
Postal workers are asking members of the public to attend a special meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the Kirkland Conference Center at Albany Technical College to make their feelings known.
In a summary brief of the proposal, Tony Joy, manager, Consumer & Industry Contact, North Florida District, stated that “the initial results of the study supports the business case for consolidation.” However, the study is currently in review by the USPS and is subject to change, Joy said.
According to Joy, cost is the principal reason for consolidation of the processing centers. The feasibility study indicates an annual savings in all areas of $3,527,763, with the greatest single savings coming in transportation.
“The stress is being felt here,” Loud said. “You can see it on the faces of some employees. “The community can’t stand another closure — we’ve had so many in the last few years.”
Loud stressed the importance of Tuesday’s public forum, urging people to “listen to what’s being said,” and then to “make them prove it.”
“Don’t just tell us,” Loud said. “Show us.”
Loud said that a final decision will be made “in the coming months.”
Wiley said that while processing centers are being closed nationwide, south Georgia seems to be taking it hard. According to Wiley, “people in south Georgia won’t be able to process their own mail.”
“We’re losing centers not only in Albany, but in Columbus, Valdosta, Augusta and Waycross, too,” Wiley said.
According to Wiley, protesters will be present downtown, at the Lafayette Plaza Post Office, and the main post office on South Slappey through Tuesday morning.