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Ossoff Pledges to Keep Pressuring Postal Service Over Mail Processing Delays

U.S. Sen. Jon Ossoff is vowing to put 'maximum pressure' on Postmaster General Louis DeJoy to improve service at the regional mail processing center in Palmetto.

'This is not on postal workers,' Ossoff, D-Ga., said Thursday after touring the facility and meeting with local postal service officials. 'This is a question of management, competent management.'

Ossoff first raised the issue of delays in mail processing at the Palmetto center during a Senate committee hearing in mid-April. At the time, he cited statistics showing that only 36% of the first-class mail processed at the facility was being delivered on time.

DeJoy told the committee the delays were the result of problems encountered during the rollout last winter of a restructuring plan aimed at making the postal service economically self-sufficient. The plan was first implemented at the processing center in Palmetto and at a second center in Richmond, Va.

The Atlanta-area consolidation involved moving nearly 10,000 employees from 10 locations to the new Palmetto distribution center.

'This transition for our region was not well thought out, not well planned, and not competently executed,' Ossoff said.

The restructuring plan is on hold for now. DeJoy announced two weeks ago that the postal service would pause the plan at least until next year to give the agency a chance to figure out what went wrong and how to fix it.

Days later, he unveiled specific solutions for the Palmetto center, including bringing in more than 100 personnel from other centers and revising transportation schedules between the Palmetto facility and other local mail processing centers.

'Since the first week of March, our service performance scores in the region have shown consistent improvement,' according to a statement issued by the postal service Thursday. 'While we are not entirely satisfied with the current levels, this positive trend indicates that the challenges we faced in March are being actively addressed.'

While on-time delivery has improved to about 60%, Ossoff says he will keep monitoring the situation.

'I will continue to apply maximum pressure so that seniors in Georgia are not going without prescriptions, so that small businesses in Georgia are not unable to receive supplies or get products to market, so that voters in Georgia are not unable to cast their ballots timely by mail,' he said.

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