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Mar 25, 2013 12:03 AM by Sam Salzwedel

Postal workers protest cuts

TUCSON - Protesters gathered to oppose budget cuts that include ending Saturday delivery and closing the Tucson mail processing center.

Connie Sadler-Nelson is the president of the American Postal Workers Union in Tucson.

"Privatization means that nobody delivers mail to the bottom of the Grand Canyon like we do," she said. "Nobody delivers the mail to Kodiak, Alaska."

All over the country, people protested Saturday. Some cities have even seen television ads supporting 6-day mail delivery.

Sadler-Nelson said the Postal Service is making changes that will hurt people in rural areas and the elderly.

"No one else has to do it," she said. "Nobody ever asked the State Department if they are making a profit."

With the Tucson processing center closed, customers will not notice any change in service, according to USPS spokesman Rob Soler.

The Postal Service will eliminate fewer than 10 positions in Tucson, and everybody will be offered jobs in town, according to Soler.

All the mail will move on existing transportation, with no extra trips necessary, according to Soler.

PO Boxes and retail services are still available at the Cherrybell Post Office.

The unions are blaming Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe for hurting the USPS.

"Seventy percent of Americans have consistently said that they would support 5 day schedule for mail and package delivery," Donahoe said.

Congress has requested the USPS delay the end of Saturday delivery.

"Where we need help from Congress is some of the legislative issues like the health care," Donahoe said. "Not getting in the way of the 6 to 5 day [delivery]. We need to make those changes."

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