Understaffed, unnerved Texas postal workers speak out about delivery delays

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(Texas News Service – Roz Brown) – Texas postal customers, especially in rural areas, are experiencing delays in mail delivery, and some letter carriers feel it could get worse.

Staffing shortages are blamed for certain delays but others believe a demoralized workforce and a 10-year Postal Service improvement plan also are a problem. To reduce financial losses, U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy unveiled the “Delivering for America” plan in 2020.

Alex Aleman, president of the American Postal Workers Union Local 195 in San Antonio, believes the work environment continues to deteriorate, causing many who come on board to quit, even though the benefits are good. “At the San Antonio Post Office, they hire people and they go to work, they try it out for a few days and some of them don’t come back at all,” Aleman observed. “They just go, ‘No, this is not for me.'”

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.

At a recent Postal Service public hearing in Texas, Aleman relayed his concerns about a potential consolidation of postal services to San Antonio from Corpus Christi. Since the 2020 plan was implemented, the number of conversions has grown to 125,000, which in some locations has increased the time of mail delivery.

Aleman noted he also hears stories about name-calling, sexual harassment, and discrimination. “When they go to work they’re so concerned about management targeting them, so it’s not a good work environment,” Aleman asserted. “And they really can’t just come forward and complain because if they do, they fear retaliation.”

Last year, DeJoy said the agency is trying to reduce labor costs because it lost $6.5 billion in 2023, an improvement over much bigger losses in prior years.

Aleman worries the ultimate goal is privatization of the post office, not improvement.

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