South Bay Letter Carriers Say Mail Problems Linked to USPS Cost-Cutting Experiment

Complaints in recent months have exploded on social media and online message boards, prompting Eshoo—as first reported by this news outlet—to finally call for federal intervention. Meanwhile, USPS officials are keeping customers in the dark about a controversial experiment that frontline staff blame for widespread service delays.

Ernie Arranaga, president of the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) Branch 193, says a national pilot project to uncouple mail sorting from delivery has triggered a staffing exodus since rolling out at the Campbell Post Office toward the end of last summer. According to Arranaga, the USPS initiative, called “consolidated casing,” has placed “a heavy burden” on local letter carriers and caused several of the most-experienced employees to retire.

“They didn’t lay anyone off,” he says, “but they changed some of the work methods so that carriers are out on the street for longer periods of time. Due to insufficient staffing, there’s also a requirement to work a lot of overtime.”

The issues in Campbell have reverberated throughout the South Bay, as local post offices send some of their own employees to the consolidated-casing site to address the staffing shortfall in Orchard City.

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