Birmingham post office experiencing delays due to COVID-19
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The holiday shopping season is upon us and we’re already seeing delays in the mail system.
Postal workers are blaming those delays on COVID-19.
President of the American Postal Workers Union Local 303 Camice Samuels said just like the rest of the country is dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, so is the postal service.
He said a lot of postal workers are being quarantined either because they have COVID-19, or they’ve been exposed to, which is why we’re seeing those delays.
“The post office is subject to employee availability and right now, we have people that have tested positive and once that happens you know, you’ve got a whole section of people that have to be quarantined and those people are not easily replaced,” Samuels explained.
On Monday morning, we received an email saying there were dozens of postal trucks at the Birmingham USPS facility just sitting on the lot.
Customers are complaining they haven’t received any mail in days, and some facilities are closed.
“People ordering on line - you know we had Black Friday, Cyber Monday, other shipping companies have cutoff accepting mail, so the post office gets the overflow and we don’t have the size of facility to handle that overflow,” Samuels said.
Samuels said he knows trucks in the parking lot are a safety issue, and they’ve reached out to the city to get more help.
“As of this morning, they was hiring an additional 50 people to help and they’ve got another location to offload the mail or whatever so they are adapting, they do have a plan in place and all of the unions are working with them. It’s going to be an increase in overtime. We’re going to do whatever we can to get the mail to the customers because that’s why we’re here is to provide customer service,” Samuels explained.
In a statement from the USPS, a spokesperson said she is confident that processing and delivery will return to normal levels quickly.
Meanwhile, the USPS is reminding customers to send mail and packages early to avoid glitches.
Our attempts to speak directly to Birmingham Postmaster John Richardson, Jr. were unsuccessful.
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