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Paul Kanjorski wants the USPS facility to remain open

05.17.09

May 2009 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton edition of The Union News

Paul Kanjorski wants the USPS facility to remain open

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

WILKES-BARRE, April 29th- Democratic 11th Legislative District House of Representative Paul Kanjorski strongly expressed his concern with the results of a United States Postal Service (USPS) study that recommended the closure of the mail processing and distribution facility on Main Street in Wilkes-Barre. He also urged the Postmaster General to reject the study’s recommendation and keep the Wilkes-Barre post office and its jobs for its employees.

The USPS conducted a five-month feasibility study that will determine if the agency should move the operation from Wilkes-Barre to Scranton or the Lehigh Valley. The Gallup Organization, the largest survey company in the nation, conducted a customer satisfaction survey for the USPS.

The USPS stated the discussion of moving the mail processing is in response to the 30 percent decline in first class mail over the past decade.

Workers employed at the facility on South Main Street have held several demostrations in front of the facility protesting the possible closing of the center. The workers, represented by the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) Local 175, the National Postal Mail Handlers Union (NPMHU) Local 308 and the National Association of Letters Carriers (NALC) Union Branch 115, have been joined by other union members and supporters expressing their desire of keeping the facility opened.

According to John Kishel, President of Branch 175, which represents 240 postal service workers that process mail including clerk personnel and maintenance workers at 24 USPS facilities in and around Wilkes-Barre, should the move of processing mail to Scranton or the Lehigh Valley be made, customer service will be affected and it will impact the City of Wilkes-Barre and surrounding communities negatively.

Bill Smith, Local 308 agrees with Mr. Kishel and stated mail will need to be re-routed to Scranton or the Lehigh Valley and then back to Luzerne County causing a delay in home delivery.

“We are in very difficult economic times, and the potential closure of the mail processing and distribution facility in Wilkes-Barre could have negative repercussions throughout the area. We must protect the jobs of the employees at the current facility. I have been advocating against the closure since the study was released,” stated Mr. Kanjorski.

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