U.S. Representatives Rick Larsen and Suzan DelBene sent a letter to the head of the United States Postal Service saying efforts to increase staffing are insufficient
SEATTLE – Recently, people in many areas of Western Washington have had problems with the United States Postal Service.
These problems include long lines and mail delays in many counties, such as Whatcom, King and Snohomish. Now state leaders are getting involved.
This week, U.S. Representatives Rick Larsen and Suzan DelBene sent a letter to the head of the United States Postal Service (USPS) urging it to address what they call “mail errors.” This happens when the postal service tries to hire more employees.
The USPS held a job fair Friday in Tacoma.
“We’ve been hiring aggressively since last year, even before the peak season last year,” said Kim Frum, a spokesman for the United States Postal Service.
Frum said their goal is to hire 1,000 people in Washington over the next few months. They are particularly looking to hire postmen, clerks, mail handlers.
“Staffing is a very big part of what we do,” Frum said. “You need a physical carrier in your neighborhood to deliver the mail.”
In the letter to Postmaster General Louis Dejoy from U.S. Reps. Rick Larsen and Suzan DelBene, they said the Postal Service’s hiring efforts are inadequate as mail delays continue. In the letter, they say people in their districts have experienced “significant daily mail delivery delays and a complete lack of service” in some areas. They added that they were told in mid-December that packages were being prioritized over letter mail, which they say caused people to report “missing paychecks, medications, court notices and other important items.”
Frum said that because some areas are more understaffed than others, they have tried to get creative to meet the needs.
“When we don’t have enough staff available at one location, what we do is we actually borrow staff from other locations nearby to help get the mail delivered because timely, consistent delivery is what we do, and we want to make sure we do that. that for our customers,” Frum said.
She said they will continue to hire aggressively until they are fully staffed.
“We understand the frustrations and we appreciate the patience and understanding of all of our communities.”
The USPS will be holding several hiring events in the area and is also accepting applications online.
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