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Local U.S. Postal Service Workers Protest Cost-Cutting Changes

BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Postal workers across the country are protesting changes coming to the mail system.

Tracey Leong explains why.

It's being called a national day of action. Protesters gathered at the post office on Fayette street are fighting the changes that are expected to take effect in January.

Postal workers are making their call for action loud and clear, demanding the U.S. Postal Service to stop delaying America's mail.

"It will affect every single resident that has a mail box at their home. Their mail will be delayed," said George Askew, Baltimore union president.

In the past 10 years, mail volume has declined more than 50 percent. The postal service says it's restructuring to match the public's needs.

Mail that is sent locally will change from a one-day delivery to two days. And if sent nationally could take three days.

In addition, 82 processing and distribution centers will close to consolidate services.

These are changes workers believe will damage the industry.

"Enjoyed the United States Postal Service as a free, public service; everything that they're doing at the head quarter level indicates their intent is to privatize," Askew said.

While the U.S. Postal Service says it won't be laying any employees, postal workers say relocation would be a hardship.

"I think that sucks, to be honest. To speak frankly with you, I think it sucks and effects families in general. If I have to travel an extra 50 miles to get to work,  that hurts my pockets and time I could spend with my family," said Courtney Jenkins, postal worker.

Postal workers in Baltimore are asking the public to join their fight, arguing these closures and reductions are unnecessary and will hurt everyone.

Recently, half the Senate called for a one-year hold on the postal services plans to restructure services. Lawmakers say it could hurt local communities and economies.

Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe announced his retirement earlier Friday. Officials say it was not related to these protests.

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