BANGOR, Maine (WABI) – The holiday season is the busiest time of year for the United States Postal Service. But for postal workers both here in Maine and across the nation, the job has become overwhelming.
TV5 has heard from some residents who have gone days without getting their mail. We spoke to local labor leaders about what’s causing the problem and what steps they recommend to fix it.
“I worked 32 years as a letter carrier. I’ve never seen mail not go out unless weather conditions, and that only happened twice,” said Cheryl Elrich, National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) Branch 391 president.
Between vacancies and employees out with injuries, Elrich estimates the City of Bangor is missing about a quarter of its mail carriers.
“It’s hard on them, Elrich said. “I just talked to one guy today. He’s had two days off in the last 38 days. They are working seven days a week, 14, 15 hours a day.”
At the USPS office on Godfrey Drive in Orono, the problem is confounded by a COVID-19 outbreak among staff.