GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Sen. Gary Peters said he received confirmation that West Michigan is experiencing slow mail delivery due to recent changes.
On Tuesday, he toured the Patterson Avenue postal facility near Kentwood. Peters said he made the trip to try and get more clarity about the removal of mail sorting machines and changes to staff overtime. However, most questions remain unanswered.
“I was hoping that if you get out into a postal facility that you will get more direct answers from folks. That didn’t happen,” Peters said. “So, they may not have had that information or there may have been another reason why they didn’t share it.”
Peters toured the facility where Target 8 found parking spots filled with mail sorting machines and a dumpster packed with smaller pieces. During the tour, he says staff confirmed that there has been a slowdown in our mail delivery but wouldn’t say why or how long of a delay we are dealing with.
There is also no clear answer as to why working mail sorting machines have been removed with no plan to replace them. Peters says he’s also trying to find out the reason for the timing of the removal, which is taking place prior to an election and an annual peak mail time.
“It’s very hard for the folks that I represent that work there to see delayed packages in our facility. It truly is,” said Amy Puhalski, president of American Postal Workers Union Local 281.
Puhalski, was along for the tour Tuesday.
She says trucks are leaving the facility half full and mail is sitting on the loading dock waiting to go out because of changes to the overtime policy.
“We are in a pandemic. We have so much mail volume and packages,” Puhalski said.
Peters says this isn’t a political issue, it’s an American issue.
For anyone who thinks otherwise, Peters recommends talking to a postal worker.
“The employees that have been here for 27 years and are seeing things that they’ve never seen before,” Peters said. “They are frustrated that the mail is not going out like always in the past. This is very real. We need to fix it. The Postal Service is too important to everyone.”
Peters says the House Oversight Committee may subpoena information if it’s not made available soon.