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Public sounds off on proposed postal changes

Public to sound off on proposed postal changes

READING, Pa. - "It's the most significant change the postal service has undergone in the past 50 years," announced U.S. Postal Service representative Kevin McAdams at a public meeting held at Northeast Middle School in Reading Wednesday night.

The postal service is considering reducing its mail processing centers nationwide from 487 plants to 280. But some don't approve of the move.

"I actually don't feel good about it. It's going to degrade the service to our customers," said Jeffrey Vazquez, a postal worker in downtown Reading.

"I don't think that these proposed changes are a good thing," said Mary Jo Smith, retired postal manager.

The proposed changes could affect the Gus Yatron facility in Reading. While officials confirmed the building and the retail operations would remain, they expressed that the mail processing facility could be transferred to Harrisburg.

Officials said about 50 jobs could be impacted.

"They [impacted postal workers] would have to be offered or provided opportunities for other jobs if they're career employees, and if they can meet the requirements of those positions," said Ray Daiutolo, spokesman for the U.S. Postal Service.

Union representatives also showed up at Wednesday night's meeting.

"[We want to make sure] that the inconvenience and disruption and relocation of our employees are kept to the absolute minimum in accordance to the contract," said Steve Bahrle from the National Postal Mail Handlers Union.

Officials said consolidation is needed because, over the past 10 years, first class mail has dropped by 50%.

Overnight mail may also be eliminated and replaced with two to three-day mail.

Officials said customer service will not be compromised, but some postal employees disagree.

"Not with all the changes that are going on now. It's not good now. Go downtown and ask a customer that's waiting in line," said Vazquez.

Currently, a feasibility study of 250 postal facilities is underway nationwide. Officials said the final results are expected in about eight weeks.

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