Next Wednesday, Bronx postal workers will team up with Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. to protest the steady stream of Bronx post office closures, including the phasing out of the borough's processing center.
Since the beginning of the year, the United States Postal Service has closed the Crotona and Oak Point post offices. The Van Ness office was also slated to be shut down, but an outcry from residents and elected officials have put that closure on hold for the time being.
According to James Perez, a union rep who works at the Bronx processing center on East 149th Street, the USPS has already begun shifting about half of the processing of Bronx mail to Manhattan and is intent on shuttering the center altogether and displacing its 271 workers. (Earlier this year, the USPS said they were contemplating a consolidation plan, but had not implemented it.)
Chuck Zlatkin, the legislative director for the New York Area Postal Union, says “there's nothing good in [these closures] for anyone.”
He says eliminating the processing center will not only displace workers (who might go to Manhattan, but also could end up being transferred anywhere within a 50-mile range of New York City), it will delay delivery of mail to the entire borough, hurt local businesses around the plant who won't have those 271 customers anymore and increase pollution with the increased truck traffic.
The rally will begin at 10 a.m. at the recently-closed Oak Point office at 839 E. 149th St. Protesters will then march to the Bronx General Post Office on E. 149th Street and the Grand Concourse, where Diaz will give a speech.
The USPS couldn't be reached for comment.