GARY | One sign read "Keep Jobs in 46401 NOT 60499" at the rally Tuesday to protest possible closure of the city's main post office and the transfer of mail processing to Bedford Park, Ill.
Northwest Indiana residents gathered on the median on 1449 Martin Luther King Drive in front of the post office at the urging of attorney Bryan Bullock.
In late 2011, the U.S. Postal Service announced targeted closings of post offices and mail processing centers as a cost-cutting move, including the Gary center.
At a public meeting Nov. 1, the Greater Indiana District Manager for the U.S. Postal Service said 252 processing centers around the country are being considered for closure.
Bullock said he organized the rally for several reasons.
"On a national level, we believe this is an effort at privatization of the postal service. On the local level, we would like to see jobs remain in the city where many of the employees in this building live," Bullock said.
The closing of the post office and mail processing center will affect more than 100 people. These jobs are high-paying positions, many of which are held by Gary residents, the attorney said.
Bullock said other groups nationally are rallying to oppose possible closures.
The U.S. Postal Service is financially strapped because of "manufactured crisis," said Carolyn McCardy, of Gary.
"The postal service was forced to pay ahead on its pensions," she said. "I think Congress is trying to get rid of the public postal service and privatize it."
Gregg Hodgson, of the Miller section of Gary, also called the reported deficit "a fraud."
"The postal service is not broke. In 2006 they were forced to fund 75 years of retirement in just 10 years. No other agency or business has been ordered to do that," Hodgson said.