- Associated Press - Friday, February 13, 2015

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) - Nearly half of the jobs at a sorting center in northwest Ohio will be eliminated as the Postal Service moves its local mail-sorting operation to Michigan, workers were told this week.

About 117 jobs at the sorting center at Toledo’s main post office will be eliminated around mid-April, Postal Service spokesman David Van Allen told The Blade in Toledo (https://bit.ly/1KRLFvT ). Employees who will be affected received formal notice of the changes this week.

The upcoming change means inbound mail to Toledo will be sorted 60 miles away in Detroit. Delivery trucks will run the mail to Toledo’s post office, where it will be transferred to other trucks for local delivery.

Congress is to blame for the cuts to Toledo’s sorting center, said Arnie Cowell, president of the Toledo American Postal Workers’ Union.

The mail agency has reported heavy losses in recent years as a result of congressionally mandated annual payments for future retiree health benefits.

Employees have known about the consolidation plans for several years, Van Allen said.

The sorting of Toledo’s outbound mail was transferred to Pontiac, Michigan, in July of 2013. Around that time, Ohio’s two senators and U.S. Reps. Marcy Kaptur and Bob Latta co-signed a letter asking the Postal Service to reconsider closing the Toledo sorting facility.

In a statement Friday, Kaptur said she deeply regrets the decision by the Board of Governors of the Postal Service to shut down the Toledo sorting facility.

“Despite our repeated attempts to retain services in Toledo, again the Board has backhanded our Postal Workers at the sorting facility,” the Democrat congresswoman said in the statement.

The Postal Service is required find jobs within a 50 mile radius for those workers whose positions were eliminated, Cowell told WTOL-TV (https://bit.ly/1A4kjy4 ), but the agency hasn’t done so yet.

“There are no jobs for these people to go to,” he said.


Information from: The Blade, https://www.toledoblade.com/

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