|Updated: 2/23/2012 10:04 am
||Published: 2/22/2012 9:24 pm
Tulsans are not happy about the probable closure of the United States Postal Service’s Tulsa mail sorting facility, but union leaders told FOX23 the facility may still have a shot at survival.
“It doesn't make a lot sense,” one customer said Wednesday,.
The facility employes more than 500 people and sorts one million pieces of mail each day.
“I do a lot of business by mail it will delay most of my mail by several days probably,” Jan Keegan told FOX23.
Other postal customers know that in the digital age, the post office is losing millions of dollars.
“I understand the dynamics and what's happening. People just don't use the system like they used to,” Scott Kirk of Broken Arrow said.
Trevis Barnes concoured, “I don't mail as much as I used to, but for birthdays, anniversaries, and things like that, it would be important.”
Customers say this hurts Tulsa, and they would now consider a competitor like UPS or FedEx.
“It's going to be a big loss for Tulsa. A lot of people are going to lose their jobs, plus it's going to put a hardship on a lot of businesses,” Keegan said.
The USPS has other cost saving ideas beyond just closing sorting facilities across the nation that it has mentioned in the past for possible cost savings. They include, raising the price of postage, closing smaller post office branches, and eliminating Saturday mail service.
When FOX23 called the post office to ask if implementing one of those could save the Tulsa facility and all those jobs, the USPS said they wouldn't be saying anything until Thursday.
There is one ray of light that could keep this plant open.
“Right now, the first class delivery standards are overnight. If you mail it today, or tonight, it gets there tomorrow,” Stacy Boyd a postal employee who is also a Postal Workers Union spokesperson, explained.
The Tulsa sorting facility helps the USPS meet that standard, but change is in the air.
“What the post master has proposed is changing the delivery standards to two to three days,” Boyd said.
That would make it feasible for all the mail in the state to be trucked to Oklahoma City sorted, and delivered in time. Currently, the change in first class delivery standards is only a proposal, but one Boyd hopes never passes.
“If they don't change the standards, the (Tulsa) plant can't close.”
Changing the standards would need to be approved by Congress. Right now, a postal reform bill is still being hotly debated in Washington.