United States Postal Service officials say it would be an improvement, but local union members say it will hurt both jobs and service. A proposed consolidation of operations from London to Lexington has some workers concerned.
The U.S. Postal Service is considering these kinds of mergers all across the country.
They are trying to make up for a loss of $3.8 billion last year. Postal service officials and union workers will host a public meeting at South Laurel High School next week to discuss the consolidation.
USPS officials say the proposed consolidation at the London plant should not affect mail delivery.
"If this were to happen, there would be no worry at all on the part of customers...I mean, it would literally be transparent to them. they wouldn't notice any change whatsoever," says David Walton, USPS Spokesperson.
But workers behind the scenes say, changes will hurt service.
"It's about impossible for it not to. It's just, being an employee here, I can see things that the public can't see, and I see that it's essentially going to slow the mail down," says Mark Lester, and employee at the London U.S. Post Office and member of the union.
Officials say the consolidation would save $1.7 million, helping the the U.S. Postal Service be a more competitive business.
Walton says, "We have to remain viable in today's market, you know, if we don't make these changes it's going to hurt us in the end."
But, post office employees say their service to the community is at stake.
"I believe that a lot of these managers that are running the post office have forgotten who they work for; that they don't work for themselves of for corporate America. They work for the American citizens," says Gary Fox, the local president of the U.S. Postal Workers Union.
Lester says, "I say keep your local mail local. It's really not fair for the mail to have to travel such a great distance, just because the post office thinks it's a great business idea."
He says the changes could potentially affect postal service and mail delivery in all of the surrounding counties.
The meeting--open to the public--is scheduled for next Tuesday, January 12 at South Laurel High School to discuss the proposal. It will be at 7PM.
Representatives from the U.S. Postal Service as well as local union workers will be there.