NEW YORK (AP) -- A union leader urged uneasy postal workers at a huge mail processing plant where machines have been contaminated with anthrax to seek transfers to other facilities. And an attorney for the union threaten to go to court if the government doesn't shut the building down.
"The conditions in here without a doubt are unsafe," local Union President William Smith told about three dozen workers at a rally Friday outside the Morgan Processing and Distribution Center.
The Postal Service insists there is no need to close the building. David Solomon, a regional vice president, said Friday that health professionals had assured the agency that cleaning the machinery was all that had to be done.
"If, in the future, the determination is made that the building should be closed, we'll do whatever the health professionals say that we should do," Solomon said.
The nine-story station covers two city blocks, employs about 5,000 people and handles all incoming and outgoing mail for Manhattan and the Bronx, about 20 million pieces a day.
Anthrax bacteria were detected Thursday on four optical ZIP code sorting machines in the center. The machines were cordoned off with bright orange tape, and Smith said Friday that the off-limits area on the third floor had been expanded to include 28 machines.
City Health Commissioner Neal Cohen said no New York postal workers have contracted any form of anthrax.
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