Glenwood Springs postal jobs could be sent to GJ

Grand Junction could gain some jobs, but at Glenwood Springs’ expense, under a U.S. Postal Service proposal.

The agency is studying moving some or all of the operations at the west Glenwood Springs mail-processing facility to Grand Junction. The Glenwood Springs facility processes mail for ZIP codes beginning with 816, which covers areas as far away as Aspen, Vail and Craig.

Postal Service spokesman Al DeSarro said the agency is trying to take advantage of more advanced automation facilities at its Burkey Street site in Grand Junction.

Although the Postal Service hopes to reduce staffing because of the increased automation,  the shift of mail processing still could result in some more jobs at the Grand Junction site. DeSarro said any affected Glenwood Springs workers would have the option of taking those jobs or being reassigned to vacancies or other positions in the Glenwood Springs area.

“We would not plan to do any layoffs,” he said.

The Glenwood facility’s 37 mail-processing employees handle about 300,000 pieces of mail per day.

“I think that we would certainly like to see the jobs stay in Glenwood. … I don’t know how much clout we will have with the Postal Service with regard to that. I’m sure they’re looking at efficiencies,” Glenwood Springs Mayor Bruce Christensen said.

He said he understands the financial challenges the Postal Service is facing because of private-sector competition and greater use of Internet-based communication.

Shane McDonnell, president of Western Colorado Area Local 600 of the American Postal Workers Union, said he is concerned the proposed change could force some Glenwood Springs workers to commute or move to Grand Junction. He notes the Postal Service considered but ruled out the consolidation in 2006.

“It wasn’t feasible back then. I don’t understand why it would be feasible now,” he said.

DeSarro said the Postal Service determined in 2006 that mail volume still was high enough to warrant continuing to process it in Glenwood Springs. But nationwide mail volume has declined 25 percent from record 2006 levels, prompting the need to look at consolidating and saving money where possible, he said.

McDonnell said consolidation may not make sense in a rural area where it could result in items such as in-town Aspen mail being shipped all the way to Grand Junction to be sorted and returned to Aspen. He thinks delivery times for customers will be hurt.

DeSarro said such factors will be considered in the two-month study. No changes to the Glenwood facility are likely to occur that would affect service, he said.

If the study supports consolidation, a public meeting will be held in Glenwood Springs to consider input for a final proposal.

Meanwhile, comments may be sent to Consumer Affairs Manager, 7500 E. 53rd Place, Denver 80266-9631.


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