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Whatcom County mail delivery challenges continue, local gov’t reps exchange letters with US Postal Service

The line of customers picking up packages stretches outside the Ferndale Post Office (July 25, 2022). Photo: Whatcom News

WHATCOM COUNTY, Wash. — Washington State 2nd District Representative Rick Larsen and 1st District Representative Suzan DelBene recently sent a letter to US Postmaster General Louis DeJoy asking for answers about “persistent” mail delays reported by constituents to their offices.

There have been letters exchanged between the representatives’ offices and the Postmaster General’s since last summer.

In July, Larsen and DelBene sent a letter (PDF) requesting information on USPS’s efforts to increase staffing amid severe workforce shortages being blamed for mail delivery delays. At the time, election mail was concern.

A response from the US Postal Service’s government relations office said personnel were being shared between local post offices in an effort to clear backlogs. Hiring events were said to be scheduled in August through September through Washington.

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Last week’s letter from local representatives to DeJoy said complaints of delayed mail continue to be received and they increased in mid-December. They added this appeared not to be limited to Whatcom County areas.

Adding to our concern is that these recent delivery delays are only the latest in a series of ongoing challenges with USPS in Northwest Washington. We continue to also hear regular complaints about mail delivery in Island, King, San Juan and Snohomish counties.

We also remain concerned about the retention rate of USPS employees amid consistent reports of inadequate training of supervisors, an often months-long hiring process that discourages interested applicants, and unpredictable and extremely long work hours that put the health and safety of current employees at risk. We are grateful for the work of USPS employees who continue to work above and beyond to deliver mail during these challenging times. USPS must do more to support and retain these workers.

Letter from Representatives Rick Larsen and Suzan DelBene to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy (January11, 2023)

Positions with USPS can be applied for online.

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