U.S. Congressman Don Manzullo says moving mail processing operations to palatine would be a disaster for the U.S. Postal Service.
On Monday, the public will have a chance to tell postal leaders how a consolidation would impact residents.
"Congressman Manzullo was able to get the postal service to agree to this forum. Without his help we wouldn't have made it this far," says Gregg Voiles, president of the American Postal Workers Union Rockford Local 79.
Back in December, the postal service launched a study to measure whether it could save money by transferring mail processing operations. Under the plan, local outgoing mail would be cancelled in Palatine and then brought back to Rockford for delivery, a move that could impact 50 to 100 jobs.
"I think there's a difference of opinion in terms of what losing your job means. It's true that when the postal service says no one will lose their jobs. We would be relocated to another post office within a 100 mile radius of this post office," says Voiles.
In addition to potential job losses, Voiles says service could be affected. For years, Rockford's processing and distribution center has ranked as one of the most efficient plants in the nation.
"I believe there would be some compromising of service standards that we currently enjoy, and that's the whole position that we have taken is that there's going to be a price to pay, should this go through," says Voiles.
Manzullo's office says there's been major problems with mail delivery out of Palatine. The post office has said it will not make any changes that would hurt service.
"No jobs would be lost involuntarily. If there are any changes, and that's a big if, people would be reassigned. Also, the postal service will not make any changes at all unless we can improve or maintain performance," says Sean Hargadon, spokesperson for the U.S. Postal Service.
Counties that would be affected by the potential processing center move include Winnebago, Boone, Stephenson, Jodaviess, Carroll, Whiteside and Ogle. The open forum will be held on Monday night, June 5, at 6:30 at the Northern Illinois University Rockford Education Center. The center is located at 8500 E. State Street in Rockford.