D.C. Area Mail Delivery Service:

Resolving Labor-Relations and Operational Problems Key to Service Improvement

GGD-95-77: Published: Feb 23, 1995. Publicly Released: Feb 27, 1995.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed mail delivery service in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, focusing on the: (1) recent on-time delivery service problems for overnight first-class mail; (2) reasons why mail service is below the desired level; and (3) United States Postal Service's (USPS) actions to improve service in the area.

GAO found that: (1) mail service in the Washington, D.C. area has declined in part due to an unexpected increase in mail volume; (2) labor-management relations in the Washington, D.C. area are among the worst in the country; (3) customer satisfaction in the area declined dramatically in 1994 because local units were unable to maintain mail service at previous levels due to employee shortages, poor labor-management relations, and the recent organizational change; (4) USPS has taken action to address unnecessary duplicate mail handling; (5) postal managers believe that metropolitan overnight delivery areas are too large for the current delivery network; and (6) USPS agreed with the conclusion that the key element in improving mail service is to improve labor-management relations.

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