Mail delivery delayed by new policies, postal workers say

From the Rochester (NY) Democrat and Chronicle:

Rochester-area postal customers have begun to mutter on social media and across the back yard fence that U.S. mail delivery has suddenly taken a turn for the worse.

First-class mail is showing up later than expected — sometimes many days later.

Scattered delays in delivery appear to be occurring across the state and across the country, the apparent result of a ban on overtime and an edict from the new postmaster general that every process start and stop on time, even if work isn’t finished.

The practice previously has been to get the mail sorted and delivered as quickly as possible, even if it meant calling in employees on overtime, running processing equipment longer than scheduled or holding a truck at the loading dock until its cargo was ready.

Documents leaked online last week specify that overtime will be eliminated and other expenses cut back, and conceded this could lead to short-term delays in mail delivery.

Two Rochester-area letter carriers, who asked not to be identified by name for fear of recrimination from management, said the effects of the new polices are showing up in this market.

Carriers at the downtown office were out past 7:30 pm Saturday, for instance, because they were doing the work of absent co-workers. “They’re splitting up work among people who are here, rather than calling in workers on their day off,” one letter carrier said.

“The operations plants are a mess. There are days when the (sorting) machines don’t run, ” the carrier said. “And if mail coming out of the plant doesn’t make the truck, normally the truck would be held. Under the new guidelines, the truck leaves even if the mail isn’t ready. The mail’s held to the next day.”

As a consequence, delivery can be late. A colleague of the carrier reported earlier this week that there was a deluge of mail to be delivered in Webster. Most of it had been mailed from within the town or from other nearby locations, a week earlier.

Full story: Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

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