Tucson postal workers picket cuts, closures

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Postal workers gathered outside of Cherrybell Mail Processing Center on the southside to protest the planned closure and a cut in Saturday mail service.

The post office says it has seen a decline in mail by 25%, so it has no choice but to make cuts. But, change won't come without a fight.

Whistling and waiving signs, postal workers want their voices heard.

The post office says it will save 2 billion dollars a year by cutting Saturday mail delivery, but postal workers say that will do more harm than good.

"If we shut down one day delivery we're going to be playing catch up every single week," said one postal worker.

Demonstrators are also concerned about the planned closure of Tucson's only mail processing center.

The postal workers union president says when Cherrybell closes, you can expect delays in getting your mail.

Three hundred people have jobs at the Cherrybell site and the cuts will impact almost all mail workers.

"The best case scenario is we'd be able to transfer to Phoenix which is a 2 hour drive each way, for those of us who are able to keep our jobs," said Raymond Santoro, the president of Mail Handlers Union.

Postal workers say the problem lies within a 2006 Congressional mandate to pre-fund retiree health care benefits.

"Contact your congressman, your president, and the post master general and tell them this is stupid," said Connie Sadler-Nelson, the president of Tucson Postal Workers Union. "Tucson is a first class city we deserve first class service."

Several city councilmen, a county supervisor and state legislators attended today's rally. The Cherrybell Mail Processing Center is slated to close next year.

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