To be clear, the Tribune editorial board doesn’t fault postal workers. Many are working long hours. One carrier told a resident she delivered mail until 11 p.m. one day. Bismarck has brought employees from other towns in the area to help.
So the long hours and sacrifices are appreciated. However, getting mail once, twice or not at all during the week remains unacceptable. The blame falls on the Postal Service’s administrators.
Postmaster General Louis DeJoy in 2020 prioritized packages while deprioritizing first class mail, and reduced the use of air transport to transfer mail. The new delivery standards have slowed 40% of first class mail.
Some residents outside Bismarck drive into town to mail letters because they don’t know when mail might be picked up.
The Postal Service blames worker shortages and the increased workload of processing big packages for the delays in delivering the mail. The agency has struggled for years to stop losing money. DeJoy has focused on packages because they bring in more revenue and has taken steps to cut costs in other areas. His efforts don’t seem to be working.