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Delaware and Pennsylvania congressional members seek answers from USPS about delivery delays

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Sophia Schmidt
/
Delaware Public Media

Workforce shortages continue to affect every business nationwide, including the United States Postal Service. Some people have reported not receiving mail for days, or weeks, at a time.

Delaware’s Congressional Delegation along with several Pennsylvania representatives from the Postal 2 District sent a letter to USPS Wednesday asking for solutions to the disruption of daily mail service.

Senator Tom Carper says there has been a sharp uptick in late mail in the last several months. Bills, checks, and prescription medicines could be delayed, leaving recipients to suffer unintended consequences.

“The Postal Service is still a vibrant part of our economy and our civilization in this country," Carper said. "We need them to do a better job. And we want to make sure that we in Congress are being a good partner, but we also want to make sure that we are setting a high standard and insisting on better service.”

Carper says the issue boils down to workforce shortages

“Their problem is people getting sick, it's COVID, it’s folks not coming to work, not wanting to work," Carper said. "And I hear that refrain from employers all over the state. And I used to think that had something to do with providing $600 a week, supplemental federal benefits for unemployment insurance.”

But Carper says even after those additional benefits ended last November the issue has persisted, leading to workforce shortages across all businesses.

The letter released Wednesday says that USPS claims households not getting mail must not have any to be delivered, yet letter carriers say mail often goes undelivered for multiple days due to the shortages.

The Postal Service Reform Act passed in April gives postal workers more health benefits to entice people to apply.

But Carper says Congress is willing to do whatever it takes to get USPS back on track – including requesting monthly meetings with Congressional and USPS staff to review hiring and recruitment efforts and performance data.

Rachel Sawicki is Delaware Public Media's New Castle County Reporter. They are non-binary and use they/them pronouns.