The United States Postal Service made a major announcement Thursday which will affect close to 70 employees at its Gaylord Mail Processing Plant.
Mail processing operations will be moved to Traverse City in an effort to save money.
"I started a family, bought a house, and I don't know that Iâ??m going to be able to stay here anymore," says Gaylord postal worker Charles Earley.
Earley is an Iraq war veteran and says the announcement that mail processing operations will be moving from Gaylord to Traverse City is tough to swallow. He is like some 70 other employees at the center, wondering what's next.
â??That's one of the things that's killing us is we don't know, they won't give us any dates, they won't tell us you know when our job's going to go," says Earley.
"We lost $3.3-billion last quarter, and so we've had to be in a position to review our economic infrastructure," says USPS Spokesperson Sabrina Todd.
Part of the USPS plan includes shutting down some facilities, like the Gaylord processing center and consolidating other operations in Flint, Saginaw, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Lansing, and Iron Mountain.
â??It just looks like they're trying to push something through before anybody can look at it and find out exactly what they're doing and why," says Michigan Postal Workers Union President John Marcotte.
Marcotte says it doesn't add up. Last year, a union contract passed with a no-layoff clause. The postal service's labor department is talking with unions to come up with a solution.
"They will talk about what will happen with the employees, so at this time, nothing has been officially determined because it's still in talks," says Todd.
And some believe local next day service will vanish with all this consolidation.
â??If their only solution is to make cuts, they'll just keep cutting and making it slower, cutting, making it slower, and we'll just cease to exist," says Marcotte.
The postal service claims with the changes they announced today will save $2.1-billion a year. Itâ??s part of their plan to save some $20-billion by 2015.
The retail side of the Gaylord Post Office will remain open and so will day-to-day post office operations.
Marcotte says he's in Washington D.C, hoping lawmakers will step in and not allow these changes to happen.