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SWFL feels impacts of US Postal Service cost cuts

The mail is slowing down, the postmaster general told Congress. Changes to post offices operations are having unintended consequences. Those changes were stopped this week, but it’s already too late.

We looked at how mail in Southwest Florida is piling up Friday as a result of the U.S. Postal Service changes.

Sam Wood and Daniel Carinci are post office veterans — 60 years of experience combined.

A picture of a mail sorting machine going into the dumpster makes them mad.

A mail sorting machine is placed in a dumpster. Credit: WINK News.

“It’s the people’s post office, and it shouldn’t be abused like this,” Carinci said.

Carinci is a postal clerk. Sam wood is president of the American Postal Workers Union in Southwest Florida. They both say the postal plant in Fort Myers is down five machines. They’re out of service, sitting in a back room. They believe that’s why the delayed mail count in July topped five million pieces. Compare that to April when it was just 200,000.

“I never fathomed five million pieces of delayed mail in a month,” Wood said. “I just couldn’t believe it.”

“What happens to the people’s mail? Carinci said. “I’m a postal worker with 36 years behind me, and I took an oath for the sanctity of the mail.”

The impact is immediate.

“We saw what was going on with customers not getting their packages medicines,” Wood said.

The postmaster general made many, what he called, cost cutting moves. They’re now on hold until after the election.

“It doesn’t matter,” Carinci said. “Those machines are already gone … That’s not good for our customers. We need to fix this and fix this now.”

We sent an e-mail to the postal service, asking about those five machines that are no longer in use and about the delayed mail. The post office responded by stressing the cost cutting moves are on hold, but the spokesman did not answer specific questions.

Reporter:Anika Henanger
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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