The U.S. Postal Service is considering a plan to relocate Johnson City’s mail processing operations to Knoxville. Local postal employees say the proposal would result in job cuts and negatively impact mail delivery in the area. “We’ve been brought together in groups and told we’re on the chopping block,” Eric Gillespie, an electronics technician at the postal facility on East Main Street, told Press staff writer Gary B. Gray last month.
Gillespie was among a number of postal employees and others who gathered last month to protest the plan. Phil Clark, American Postal Workers Union president, local 365, said moving mail sorting operations to Knoxville would impede reliable mail service for customers whose ZIP codes begin with 376 or 242.
Clark said he believes as many as 90 employees would be impacted by the move. USPS officials stated in August that 63 employees would be affected. The postal service released a statement in November saying that 33 employees would be affected in a move that is projected to save $2 million.
USPS Corporate Communications Specialist David Walton told the Press last month the plan might mean the mail would travel farther, but people should expect delivery times to stay close to the same. All first-class mail should be delivered in between two to three days. Express and overnight mailings would go to Knoxville, but Walton said the postal service still would guarantee delivery. Postal officials will be accepting public comment on the proposal through Dec. 23. Written comments can be sent to: Manager, Consumer and Industry Contact, Tennessee District, 525 Royal Parkway, Nashville, TN 37229. We want to know what you think. Do you support the proposal to move Johnson City’s mail processing operations to Knoxville?
Send your comments to Mailbag, P.O. Box 1717, Johnson City, TN 37605-1717, or email@example.com. Please include your name, telephone number and address for verification.
We will print your responses on the Opinion pages in the coming weeks. You also can go to www.johnsoncitypress.com to cast a vote in the online poll. Results of the poll and comments from readers will appear on this page Dec. 20.