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All wrapped up and nowhere to go

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Post office: Parcels will be home for Christmas

By Carol A. Clark

Despite photographs taken this week inside the White Rock Postal Annex and Los Alamos Post Office showing piles of parcels and letters, some reportedly stored since Dec.10, District Post Office spokesperson Barbara Wood said everything would be delivered by Thursday.

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“I called the Los Alamos unit this morning and the lady in charge, Suzy Yarbro, who has just been there one week, told me they worked 12 hours yesterday. They will work overtime today and tomorrow if necessary,” Wood said in an interview from Albuquerque this morning. “She anticipates they will be clear tomorrow.”

Postal employees who did not want to be named for obvious reasons have expressed concern that packages and letters were not going to be delivered in time for Christmas. They explained for financial reasons, District Manager Mathew Lopez and Postal Operations Manager Yasmin Montaño of Albuquerque made a series of decisions in early to mid November including no overtime for clerks or letter carriers the remainder of the year.

“In all the years, I’ve never heard of them not allowing overtime. We’ve even worked

Christmas Day if needed,” one employee said.

There are two sources of delayed mail, an employee said. “The first relates to mail that has not been ‘broken down’ or distributed to the letter carrier cases. There is mail of this source in White Rock that has been delayed an entire month, according to an employee,” the employee said.

A photograph obtained by the Monitor shows mail that has been delayed at a letter carrier’s case, according to the sender.

The second source is mail that has been broken down but which management has instructed the letter carriers to not deliver, according to the employee.

“At the peak, there were about 30,000 pieces of this second source delayed in Los Alamos and White Rock combined the first week of December. While the majority of this second source is bulk rate mail, it unfortunately also includes preferential mail, referred to as non-letter mail, which contains bulk rate mail mixed with first class, second class and periodical mail such as magazines and newspapers,” the employee said. “These classes of mail are never supposed to be delayed, according to postal policy, but unfortunately, some of this mixed mail has been delayed three weeks and more by management instructions.

“The post office spends a lot of money on overtime. There will never be a blanket call where they (management) say no overtime,” Woods said.

The high mail and parcel volume is typical this time of year, she said, adding that inclement weather back east has contributed to delivery delays.