CHICAGO (CBS) — Inconsistent deliveries, mail missing for weeks – CBS 2’s Tara Molina continued Thursday night to dig into U.S. Postal Service issues across Chicago.
On Thursday, Molina asked our congressional representatives what can be done to help.
Englewood, Pilsen, Roseland, Ravenswood, Morgan Park, Woodlawn, Chatham, Logan Square, suburban Oak Park and Cicero – this is a partial list of neighborhoods we have heard complaints about just in the past two days. People have complained about missing mail, inconsistent deliveries, and no answers.
“We’ve only seen the mailman twice,” Roy Coleman of Hyde Park said earlier this week.
“If you need help, get help,” Carmen Smith-El of Park Manor said this week. “People have to get their mail.”
We took the concerns we’ve heard to U.S. Rep. Danny Davis (D-Illinois). He said he has staff actively working to address complaints constantly, but there is no easy fix.
“It ain’t just the city’s South and West Side,” Davis said.
Davis has a close relationship with USPS – he noted that he actually used to work at the Post Office as a clerk. He said there are indeed problems here.
“I think the union and management need to harmonize relationships,” Davis said.
But some are bigger than Chicago.
“We also need some help from the federal government,” Davis said.
The bottom line, Davis said, is that our post offices are understaffed.
“There has been a shortage of carriers in the Chicago area,” Davis said.
Davis is not alone in his concerns. U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Illinois) on Wednesday sent a letter to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, specifically with regard to sporadic mail delivery and lack of action on complaints at the Mount Greenwood Post Office, 3349 W. 111th St.
The letter was co-signed by state Sen. Bill Cunningham (D-Chicago), state Rep. Frances Hurley (D-Chicago), and Ald. Matt O’Shea (19th).
Lipinski issued this statement:
“In recent years, I have heard from constituents in various communities across my district, including Mt. Greenwood, Beverly, Morgan Park, and Scottsdale, about sporadic and inconsistent mail delivery, poor customer service and disrespectful treatment by post office employees when asking about their mail. In an attempt to address these issues in particularly impacted areas in Chicago, I held town hall meetings last year with other elected officials and local USPS staff. After some improvement, service has again deteriorated and continues to be a problem.
“As part of our ongoing efforts to address community concerns, several local elected officials and I sent a letter to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy asking for an investigation, corrective action, and further staff training, specifically at the Mt. Greenwood Post Office, which has been the source of the largest volume of postal complaints into my office. With reports of similarly inconsistent mail delivery and poor customer service across the Chicagoland region, USPS leadership must act to restore public trust in the Post Office and ensure that those waiting for prescription drugs, government checks, and other important items can count on reliable mail delivery.”
USPS is not acknowledging the issues we are bringing up in our reporting, or even the delays. But Chicago USPS spokesman Tim Norman issued this statement in response to the concerns, saying the Post Office will look into issues brought up by members of the community:
“The Chicago District has a dedicated workforce that services nearly 1.3 million delivery points daily. We gladly work to address any specific issue reported from the community. As any service organization, one customer complaint is one too many. The Postal Service is a responsible employer that matches our workforce to an evolving workload and adjusts staffing continuously to serve our customers with consistent, reliable service.
“We encourage any customer that has a concern with their delivery of mail to contact their local Postal station or our Consumer Affairs office at 312-983-8403.”