Nov. 10, 2003 – A U.S. Postal Service official says the planned downsizing of the work force will not result in layoffs in the Virgin Islands, Delegate Donna M. Christensen said on Monday. But she said she still is concerned about recent processing changes that mean most of the territory's mail, even for local delivery, is now being handled in Puerto Rico.
In a release from her Washington, D.C., office, Christensen said she met with Roberto Perez DeLeon, Caribbean Region district manager, in San Juan on Monday morning to discuss recently announced USPS plans to reduce staffing and consolidate facilities nationwide. (See "Planned V.I. Postal Service cutbacks assailed" and "Postal Service changes vex locals".)
Christensen said she "was assured by Mr. DeLeon that there will be no job losses" for postal workers in the Virgin Islands. "I was apprised of the changes taking place in San Juan, especially those national changes that affect jobs and schedules of employees in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands," she said. "They have said that they will be honoring union contracts."
She said she was given a tour of the main San Juan mail facility and is awaiting information in writing on mail handling and employees hours. While she still has questions about postal officials' explanations of how and why the territory's mail is being handled mostly in Puerto Rico, "I got some assurances that Mr. DeLeon will revisit some of their prior decisions," she said.
DeLeon and Thomas Pino, postal facilities director, are expected to tour the V.I. facilities in the coming weeks, Christensen said. And DeLeon has agreed "to work together on the outstanding issues in order to mitigate the impact to postal workers and customers in the Virgin Islands."
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