CHICAGO — Amid mail delivery service problems in the city, a local congressman is now calling on the Chicago postmaster general to step down.
Congressman Bobby Rush says the only way to begin to solve mail delivery delays plaguing Chicago is a change in leadership.
Rush’s demand comes at the conclusion of a months-long audit from the office of inspector general that focused on the four worst-performing post offices in the Congressman’s district; Auburn Park, Henry McGee, Ashburn and James E Worsham — all on the South Side.
During site visits at those post offices over two days in September, auditors found more than 60,000 pieces of delayed mail and inaccurate reporting of that delayed mail.
Perhaps the bigger issue it found was staffing. Forty-eight of the 61 substitute carriers who fill in for the main carriers didn’t show up to work for four consecutive weeks. They weren’t fired, so they couldn’t be replaced.
The congressman says that’s unheard of and it’s embarrassing.
USPS blames the the bulk of the problem on safety concerns related to the pandemic and the social unrest last summer, but Rush says those are just excuses… because the delays have been going on for years.
“I can only conclude and demand that Postmaster Prater resign immediately or she be terminated immediately,” Rush said.
WGN has reached out to the USPS for a response to that demand, but have not yet heard back.
Mary Foster, of Englewood, says she’s resorted to using old medicine while she waits for the new bottle of her blood pressure pills. She said they were due to arrive in the mail two weeks ago but worries they will never come.
“I don’t know when I’m gonna get it,” she said. “I’ve been calling and calling.”
In the meantime, Foster says she can’t walk a mile through the snow to the Post Office to pick up her mail because she has arthritis in her hands and knees.
“These people get paid if they’re not doing the work they should not be getting paid not one penny,” Foster said. “If I don’t get my medicine, I’m afraid I’m gonna die.”