HICKORY, N.C. (AP) -- Employees are protesting plans by the U.S. Postal Service to close the Hickory mail sorting facility and consolidate operations with Greensboro.

Members of American Postal Workers Union Local 1807 say relocating the service could disrupt mail delivery in Caldwell, Boone and other mountain counties with ZIP codes beginning in 286. It would also cost Hickory 200 jobs.

Employees have picketed post offices in Hickory, Lenoir and Boone since the consolidation plan was announced in February.

Postal Service spokeswoman Enola Rice says no final decision has been made, but an initial review shows the closure would save nearly $6 million annually.

Rice says employees whose jobs are eliminated would be offered positions at other locations.

The postal service lost $8.5 billion last year because of declines in business.

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