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Workers Picket To Save 120 Jobs

Utica, NY (WIBX) – An information picket in Utica today was designed to spread awareness about the possible loss of 120 jobs from the Utica Post Office Processing Center on Pitcher Street.

Fred Ashley, president of the Utica Area Local American Postal Workers Union, says the U.S. Postal Service is looking to consolidate the Utica center into the facility in Syracuse. He says not only would the area lose those jobs, but the local economy would lose $9 million dollars.

Ashley says he doesn’t want to see the jobs go in any case, but the Utica Processing and Distrubtion Center is one of the best in the country.

“The Utica plant consistently ranks number-one in the entire Northeast area out of 26 plants. Our productivity is 18-percent higher than the Syracuse plant. In other words, if we were to process the same mail volume as Syracuse did, we could save $6 million a year,” Ashley said.

“We’re not opposed to the postal service looking to save money because that’s how you survive in today’s business climate. But, we want the postal service to look at the efficiency and productivity, and not just move small plants into large plants for the sake of consolidation.”

Ashley says it would actually cost an $800,000 to $1 million dollars a year to transport mail from Utica to Syracuse to be sorted, then back to Utica to be delivered.

“Service to our customers would be greatly effected. Mail that currently goes to Albany from Utica takes one day, instead, it would take two days.”

Ashley expects that newspapers delivered by mail carriers would always be a day late because they would have to go to Syracuse first.

Today picket was held at the Butterfield Field Station Post Office in downtown Utica.

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