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'He's Wrong To Think We Can Take A Step Backward': Overhaul Proposed For The USPS Could Worsen Mail Delivery Problems

CHICAGO (CBS) -- It's been a rough 12 months for the U.S. Postal Service.

Customers have been going weeks with no deliveries in Chicago. In Washington, there have been calls for the Postmaster General to step down.

On Tuesday, Louis DeJoy announced details of an overhaul that could further delay the arrival of your mail. CBS 2's Chris Tye reported Tuesday on why some leaders said major changes in the midst of a pandemic is the wrong move at the wrong time.

The USPS has lost $160 billion over the last 10 years. The Postmaster General said there is a way to turn those figures around and make the USPS more modern and sustainable.

But local leaders said, when you look under the hood of the plan, regular users will lose out.

"To be blunt, we are not structured properly," said DeJoy, owning and overhauling an agency in meltdown.

Problems have been documented all over Chicago, from the North Side, to the South Side, to the suburbs.

"This is just absurd," said Alsip Mayor John Ryan.

Ryan said more than a dozen village business licenses have been returned to the Village of Alsip, because the post office couldn't find the addresses.

That is even though some are just blocks from village headquarters.

"It tells me they aren't even trying hard enough to deliver the mail. That's a problem," Ryan said.

The problem could be worsening. Proposed Tuesday by De Joy, First Class mail delivery in this country, which has a three day standard, would be lengthened to five days for arrival. Though the USPS said "...expects to deliver about 70%" of first class mail...within three days."

As for brick and mortar post offices, management "...proposes to consolidate certain low-traffic facilities where alternate facilities are available."

"Postmaster DeJoy is blind to not see across the country all the struggles that are taking place right now," Ryan said.

But the post office prides itself on adaptation. But it's a mission challenged of late on the South Side. As a Postal Inspectors report found:

*Over 62,000 pieces of mail delayed;

*Over 18,000 pieces non deliveries'

*53 delivery vehicles left unlocked.

"I think think he's wrong. I really think he's wrong to think that we can take a step backward," Ryan said.

Last month, U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Illinois) and others called for Chicago's Postmaster to step down. U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckwoth (D-Illinois) and others called for the U.S. Postmaster to step down.

Neither have.

While service improved in the days after those calls, leaders said new problems reemerged in just a few short weeks.

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