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Post Office Closures Could Impact Mississippi

By Jeffrey Hess | Published 05 Aug 2011 03:45pm | comments
Eric Sprouse says the closures need to happen.

Access to mail services in Mississippi could suffer as the Post Office considers shutting down up to 60 branches in the state. MPB's Jeffrey Hess reports that the potential cuts have postal union members worried.

The post office lost 8-billion dollars in 20-10 and part of their plan to get back in the black involves shutting down 37-hundred post offices, including 60 in Mississippi.

A postal worker union known as the National Alliance of Postal and Federal Employees met recently in Jackson.

Union President James McGee says the plan has many postal workers worried about their jobs and the ability of the Postal Service to continue delivering the mail to all addresses.

"If that were compromised, then you allow other delivery services to come in deliver that mail. Then we won't know who would be accountable. And it would be a disconnect for the people of the United States," McGee said.

The post office says that low traffic at the facilities makes it clear that people no longer need the physical location.

However, Felix Bell....a Mississippi union representative and retired postal worker....says the closures could seriously jeopardize access.

"They may have to travel literally 20 or 30 or 40 or even 50 miles. And the impact is that perhaps the elderly or perhaps those in rural areas that don't have access to motor vehicles.  They would not be getting the same type of service they get now when they can go to the local post office and get their mail," Bell said.

Not all the postal workers fear the potential closures, Greenville native and Arkansas postal worker Eric Sprouse says the closure are needed to save the post office.

"The Post Office volume is dropping year after year. There is no way we can sustain ourselves unless we close some of these small post offices. There is no way around that," Sprouse said.

If the post office goes through with its shut down plan, the closed offices could be replaced by so called "village post offices" which would be located in and run by local businesses such pharmacies and grocery stores, and would offer the same products and services such as stamps and flat-rate packaging.





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