Durbin Discusses Mail Delays With USPS Great Lakes and Central Region Leadership

SPRINGFIELD – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) spoke today with leaders from the United States Postal Service’s (USPS) Great Lakes and Central Region to discuss changes by the Postal Service that have resulted in significant mail delays. Last month, USPS Great Lakes put out a call to mail carriers in five surrounding states asking for letter carriers to come to Illinois to help deliver a huge backlog of undelivered packages and envelopes. They also asked mail carriers in the five collar counties surrounding Chicago to help deliver mail in Chicago on Sundays.

“I understand that there are many challenges facing the Postal Service recently, from pandemic safety measures to staffing shortages. These hardships are in addition to the actions taken by national postal leadership that undermine the ability of the post office to fulfill its mission. But we must demand more from our Postal Service leadership,” Durbin said. “I will continue to press local, regional, and national USPS leadership to protect delivery standards and service.”

Last month, Durbin wrote a letter to Central Area leadership appealing for more to be done to ensure the timely delivery of medicine and other essential mail that is critical to the health and safety of many Illinoisans. An OIG report on four postal stations on the Southside found more than 60,000 pieces of mail were delayed over several weeks, and nearly 19,000 pieces of mail were not delivered during a single day despite being reported as delivered.

Earlier this month, Durbin called on Postmaster General Louis DeJoy to step down if he cannot reverse the policies that have decimated USPS service. At the end of December, the USPS had an on-time rate of 38 percent for nonlocal mail – compared to 92 percent one year earlier. Durbin also slammed DeJoy’s “Delivering for America” 10-Year Plan, which drastically cuts hours and raises prices for USPS service.