WIUM Tristates Public Radio

US Postal Service

The surge in online shopping is helping the U.S. Postal Service stay afloat financially, but the influx of packages is straining rural letter carriers across the country. 

An increase in online orders is projected to help the postal service run until September 2021. Ronnie Stutts, the president of the National Rural Letter Carriers' Association, says while the increase in mail is good, they are facing a worker shortage because a large percentage rural carriers are still on leave. 

Despite recent sorting machine removals in Peoria and elsewhere, U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Moline, said she's confident the Post Office can handle large numbers of mail-in ballots in November.

In an effort to protect good jobs and community service against privatization schemes on Capitol Hill and the marketplace, Postal Workers this month called for a boycott of Staples office-supply stores.

A current series of US Postal Service stamps encourages people to think green. Meanwhile, Western Illinois University is using stamps to encourage people to think purple.

The university has printed sheets of stamps for first class letters and for postcards.  You can see the designs in the photo that accompanies this story.

Brad Bainter, WIU Vice President of Advancement and Public Services, said the stamps are a marketing tool, not a fundraiser.