Local postal workers say your mail could be delayed

Mailbox - Stephanie LaChance WTVC photo.jpeg
(Image: Stephanie LaChance WTVC)

The United States Postal Service (USPS) is cutting down hours for employees in order to save costs - and your mail may be delayed if they don't get more federal funding.

New hours and no overtime decision for all USPS workers come after Postmaster General Louis DeJoy took over the mail service.

He sent his employees a memo making changes in order to help recover from the $4.5 billion loss for their quarter in March.

That means fewer hours for postal workers to get you your mail. One postal worker we spoke with says if you haven't seen delays yet, you will for sure in the coming weeks.

NewsChannel9 reached out to the local postal union, Chattanooga American Postal Workers Union. Their president Judy Stocker says people will see mail delays if they haven’t already.

"The phones will be ringing off the hook because everyone will want to know where is my Amazon package, and it is not going to be there," Stocker said.

Stocker said that this will impact more than just their paychecks.

"He's not only cutting hours, he is cutting service," Stocker said.

Art Sackler, the manager for the Coalition for 21st Century Postal Service, says that USPS workers are being told if they can’t finish out their daily tasks of deliveries, they can do it the next day.

"It seems to be happening everywhere, and it is related to the overtime thing. Service as a whole is dropping," Sackler said.

We reached out to residents of the St. Elmo Chattanooga Neighborhood group on Facebook, asking if they have seen any delays in their mail. We received several responses saying that they are still waiting longer than normal on their deliveries.

We reached out to USPS and asked whether they had seen mail delays in the Chattanooga and Southern Tennessee region due to cuts in hours.

A spokesperson responded that "postal employees continue to provide an essential service during this challenging time," and that anyone with concerns can call 800-ASK-USPS (800-275-8777).

According to the Associated Press, as many as 12,000 postal workers have fallen ill with COVID-19, and at least 64 have died.