AURORA, Colo. - The United States Postal Service says it is hiring additional carriers to handle a big increase in business, but some carriers and rural carrier associates say it’s not happening fast enough.
Melissa Deal said she quit her job as a rural carrier associate earlier this month, after being told that she wouldn’t get a day off until the end of December.
“I was told that I’d have to work 7 days a week without a day off through the busy season,” she said, “and I have kids.”
Deal said the workload increased dramatically when the Postal Service signed a contract with Amazon Prime to deliver parcels on Sundays.
She said it was awful.
“You never (knew) when you’re going to be off work,” she said. “If somebody calls in sick and it’s your scheduled day off, you will get called in.”
Deal, who said she was diagnosed with breast cancer last year, worked out of the Aurora Main Post Office at East Alameda Avenue and South Buckley Road.
She said the Postal Service isn’t hiring enough new employees.
USPS Corporate Spokesman Brian Sperry disputes that.
In an emailed statement, Sperry said, “At the Aurora Post Office alone, we have hired 60 employees in recent weeks and more are on the way.”
He said business has been very good and carriers have been busy. He also said they rely on flexible employees “to shoulder much of the excess workload as we proudly deliver the significant increase in packages we’ve seen from online shopping.”
Sperry also said that according to the workforce contract, employees are required to be available up to 12 hours a day.”
Deal, who didn't mind going on camera because she no longer works there, said there were days when she worked much more than 12 hours a day.
“When you get in at 7:30 in the morning, to not get off work until 10:30 or 11:00 at night, is a bit much,” she said.
A supervisor at the Aurora Main Post Office said contracts for rural carrier associates are different.
She also said one of the reasons rural associates work so much overtime is because many of their fellow workers call in sick.