Fifty residents and business owners from North Portland told their mail delivery horror stories to Congressman Earl Blumenauer this morning at the Celebration Tabernacle in downtown Kenton. The postal forum was organized by Communities and Postal Workers United.
Letter carriers and customers bemoaned the late, delayed and misdelivered mail in the area. Representatives from Kenton Business Association, Arbor Lodge and Humboldt Neighborhood Associations, and residents from Overlook, Piedmont and Bridgeton neighborhoods all weighed in.
Since late September, North Portland’s mail delivery changed. Mail is arriving days late, in the dark, to the wrong address, and with constantly changing letter carriers.
A “PILOT” project, called “Consolidated Casing”, has been forced on the 97217 zip code area. The US Postal Service management is trying to speed up mail carriers, eliminate the number of mail routes and break-up (deskill) their job into two – the “sorters” and the “street carriers”.
What’s been the result over four months? Numerous customer service failings during the test, including entire routes not receiving delivery, presequenced mailings curtailed beyond requested delivery dates, and carriers instructed to disregard the address when delivering walk sequence and/ or marriage mail. Other issues include hold mail that is temporarily misplaced or not processed/resumed in a timely fashion, changes of address that are not being recorded, mail that does not get forwarded and businesses that are closed by the time the carrier arrives. AND exhausted mail carriers, working 10-12 hour days, mandated overtime, exposure to a wide variety of safety issues, and delivering on routes that are too long that they are not familiar with.