Pols Give Post Office Stamp of Approval

Waterbury workers worried

Postal workers at Waterbury's downtown post office say another sorting machine has left the building.

They say 21 clerks are being laid off and they fear the US Postal Service will eventually stamp 'canceled' on the whole building, which runs for 200 feet along Grand Street.

So in protest, they brought in the mayor, state legislators, and a congressman to meet reporters on the sidewalk in front of the building. 

None of the officials will say they believe the postal service's assurances the building won't close.

"When we initially got word there were going to be twenty job cuts we contacted the post office to ask if that was true, " said Rep. Chris Murphy, (D) 5th district. "They sent back an emphatic response:  No way.  There will not be twenty job cuts in the Waterbury post office.  When we faxed them the letter they had sent to the employees telling them of the cuts, silence."

The spokeswoman for the Postal Service in Connecticut, Maureen Marion, told NBC30, "On business operations, are we looking at different changes we can make? Absolutely.  Are we looking at closing central Waterbury?  Absolutely not."

As for the reductions in the workforce, the postal workers union says there are 145 postal clerks in Waterbury now, 80 of them at the central post office.  Twenty-one have been singled out to be "ex-sized".

"What ex-sized really means," said Sen. Joan Hartley, (D) Waterbury, "is that 21 of our workers here in Waterbury will be relocated within one hundred to five hundred miles of this location.  I call that a layoff."

"We have been working on this for three and a half years with quite frankly never getting the truth from the post office themselves," said Hartley.

During that time, mail from Waterbury has been sent to the regional processing facility in Wallingford, even if it's headed for a recipient in Waterbury.

Waterbury is being unfairly singled out for cuts, said Mayor Mike Jarjura.

"It feels like death from a thousand cuts," said Jarjura, a Democrat.  "Every  time we think we have an agreement with the postal service, they don't even call us.  They break their promises."

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