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Residents Say No Mail Delivered for 7 Days; Carriers Blame Shorter Hours

The delay has residents trying to find out where their medications, checks, tax documents and other letters are. Carriers blame the delay on reduced working hours.

Mail carriers say they've been told to stop work at 6 p.m., which means houses at the end of routes haven't had mail delivered in days. File|Patch
Mail carriers say they've been told to stop work at 6 p.m., which means houses at the end of routes haven't had mail delivered in days. File|Patch

Some residents in parts of Bethesda and elsewhere in Montgomery County say they haven’t received mail in a week – including medications, checks and other necessary letters – because postal carriers are being told to end their workday at 6 p.m.

Laurie Gross, who lives in Bethesda's Whittier Woods neighborhood, told WJLA TV she hasn't received any mail since Feb. 12.

"I have prescriptions that are supposed to come by mail. I've called the post office daily and ultimately came to realize there's nothing I could do about it," Gross said.

Dozens of residents in Bethesda's 20817 zip code have complained to supervisors, who say all the mail is out for delivery, but carriers tell resident the mail is back at postal center.

The National Association of Letter Carriers Capitol Branch 142, which represents USPS employees across Washington D.C., Montgomery County and Prince George's County, says such widespread non-existent service is utterly unacceptable.

Local mail carriers told the TV station that management recently began ordering them to clock-out by 6 p.m., which has forced many carriers to leave work with piles of mail undelivered. As a result, homes near the end of mail routes from Foggy Bottom to Potomac have gone without letters and packages for up to seven days.

A Postal Service spokeswoman told WJLA that last week’s snowstorm delayed delivery, but denied the agency is cutting employee hours.

With little assistance from the post office, residents have flooded members of congress, including Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) and Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), with calls and emails.

Rebecca DeFrees February 22, 2014 at 07:02 AM
Being an ex-postal worker, I can attest to the statements the carriers make. It is hard to understand what pressure the carriers are under and they are threatened with being fired if they do not get back in time. This is totally the decisions of the supervisors, not the carrier. They are covering themselves by lying about where the mail is. Ask them if you can come and see the route case you are on.
Ursula Kondo February 22, 2014 at 09:26 AM
Why can't they start to deliver the next day from the back of the route? That way at least people would get their mail every other day.
Maryellen Brady February 22, 2014 at 12:13 PM
Fire the current POST MASTER GENERAL who is unfit for the job as a public servant. He is incapable of leading such a SOCIETY DEPENDENT organization. The USPS is under siege by people who spit on the constitution and promote corporatization at any cost to taxpayers. The US Congress dominated by GOP ideologues crippled the Postal Service with malice. People are dependent on the USPS for basic every day needs, that is why it is in the constitution to begin with. It is time to stop the ravaging of commons resources in order to feed the ambitions of private enterprise. There is a place for both in society. But each must have clear boundaries.
Dan Robinson February 22, 2014 at 06:36 PM
As of today, we are once again without delivery here in Potomac 20854. Three days last week and now today, despite a complaint phoned to the Potomac Post Office. Most of the time we don't get mail until between 5 and 7 pm but lately we don't get it all.

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