The U.S. Postal Service says more than 200 Minnesota employees will be affected by its consolidation of mail processing operations as it deals with a ballooning deficit.More >>
MILWAUKEE (AP) -
WAUSAU (WAOW)--New developments in how the mail is handled in Central Wisconsin. The U-S Postal Service says it will close the Rothschild processing and distribution facility and move it to Green Bay.
It's a decision union officials say jeopardizes more than 150 jobs in Central Wisconsin.
But a spokesperson for the U-S Postal Service says during the past 5 years, the number of 1st class mail has declined by 25 percent. During the last 10 years, 50 percent.
Postal Service officials say the decline in mail means plants, like the one in Rothschild, have unused space. Despite the changes, they say customers shouldn't notice any difference with their mail.
But union officials disagree, and plan on fighting the Postal Service's decision.
"We want to keep our mail locally, we want to process it locally, and we want to keep our people locally," says Mike Tomczyk, local APWU president. "We don't want to see the jobs leave the area, and we don't want to see our customers hurt by this."
Union officials say they have been in contact with local congressmen.They are also making phone calls to Postal Service executives to fight the decision.
Union officials tell me the postal workers do have a contract with the Postal Service until 2015. They tell me the contract prevents layoffs, and only allows the Postal Service to relocate the employees within 50 miles.
The timeline for the transition is still unknown.
The U.S. Postal Service says up to 144 positions will be affected as it shuffles mail processing operations in Wisconsin.
The Postal Service says it will move the Wausau processing and distribution facility operations to Green Bay. Processing and distribution in Eau Claire and La Crosse will be moved to St. Paul, Minn. Also, Kenosha mail processing will be moved to Milwaukee and Portage processing will go to Madison.
The post office hopes to achieve reductions mainly through attrition.
The retail operations at the facilities will remain open. The Postal Service said Thursday the moves are the result of a five-month-long study. Specific dates for the consolidations have not been announced.
The Postal Service is pushing ahead with planned cuts to more than 260 mail processing centers around the nation.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)