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Biden administration moves to protect Alaska wilderness; opening statements and first witness in NY trial; SCOTUS hears Starbucks case, with implications for unions on the line; rural North Carolina town gets pathway to home ownership.

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The Supreme Court weighs cities ability to manage a growing homelessness crisis, anti-Israeli protests spread to college campuses nationwide, and more states consider legislation to ban firearms at voting sites and ballot drop boxes.

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Wyoming needs more educators who can teach kids trade skills, a proposal to open 40-thousand acres of an Ohio forest to fracking has environmental advocates alarmed and rural communities lure bicyclists with state-of-the-art bike trail systems.

Postal workers speak out about short staffing, mail delays

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Friday, February 9, 2024   

Members of the American Postal Workers Union are calling for more staffing and better pay to reduce turnover. They say the problem is affecting mail delivery, particularly in rural areas.

An audit by the Office of the Inspector General last year found the U.S. Postal Service lost almost 60% of its non-career employees in 2022. APWU California president Gaare Davis said smaller, rural post offices - in towns such as Alturas and Truckee - are hit hardest.

"These offices are understaffed in the northeast corner of the state," he said. "Due to the fact of not enough housing in those areas, the wages are not high enough for the people to work in that area."

The Postal Service did not respond to a request for comment, but in a speech in November, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said the agency is trying to reduce labor costs because it lost $6.5 billion in 2023. And that is an improvement over much bigger losses in prior years.

Davis said many workers see DeJoy's 10-year-plan to make the Postal Service more efficient as misguided because the move to centralize mail processing has, so far, only led to more delays.

"He's spending billions of dollars trying to 'transform' the Postal Service into mega-plants, but he's crossing a couple of states to get the mail," he said. "That should be overnight or two days - now, it's three to five days. That's not service."

The U.S. Postal Service's goal is 95% on-time delivery. However, the agency's most recent performance report shows about 83% of first-class mail and about 92% of marketing mail is delivered on time. Most recently, winter weather has been a factor in the delays.

Disclosure: American Postal Workers Union contributes to our fund for reporting on Consumer Issues, Livable Wages/Working Families. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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