SPRINGFIELD, Ore. — The U.S. Postal Service is planning to shut down mail sorting centers around the state, and one of them is in Springfield. On Monday, protesters will rally to try to save it.
Postal workers both employed and retired, activists and elected leaders from all over Western Oregon will stage a rally and sit-in at the Gateway Mail Processing Center. The U.S. Postal Service plans to shut it down in February due to the decline in people using first class mail, a 25 percent drop since 2006.
It already closed the facility in Salem in the middle of 2013, and will close facilities in Bend and Pendleton next year. The closures will eliminate 164 jobs and 68 of them are in Springfield.
“I grew up very poor, lived in this area my whole life and besides finishing my schooling, this is the only job I know that I could have started a family. I have bought a house and it’s not asking to be rich, it’s just asking to live the American dream,” says Braden Pelky, American Postal Workers Union VP.
The Springfield processing center serves customers in Lane, Douglas, Coos and Curry counties. When it closes, customers can expect a two to three day delay in mail delivery because all mail would have to travel up to Portland first for sorting.
That could affect delivery times for things like paychecks, prescription medicines and ballots. The rallies start at 12 p.m. Monday.