Mail carriers say their employer has not employed and retained enough employees, making workdays long and workloads large during the busiest time of the year.
PORTLAND, Maine — More than two dozen people gathered outside the Portland Post Office on Forest Avenue Sunday morning. Standing among the snow and traffic, they held signs demanding their employer hire more staff.
“We are severely short-staffed… a lot of carriers are very upset,” Mark Seitz, who has been a mail carrier for 19 years, said.
Seitz is also the president of the Maine Association of Letter Carriers. He said employees log nearly 100 hours a week filling shifts, and in some cases, mail goes undelivered for more than a week at a time.
“It’s been a slow downhill decline, it’s been severely in a downward trend for a while and I don’t see an end in sight unless they change their hiring practice,” Seitz said.
In August, NEWS CENTER Maine reported on the situation in Parsonsfield and Porter, when the two towns shared just one mail carrier.
In an email, the regional office said staffing shortages are common during summers when postal carriers take vacations.
“We use every resource available to us, including authorizing overtime, delivering mail earlier or later in the day or on Sundays, and, in extreme cases, having postmasters, managers, and supervisors delivering mail to ensure our customers get the service they deserve,” a spokesperson said in an August email.