In an internal memo leaked by the Washington Post, major Trump donor and recently appointed Postmaster General Louis DeJoy informed employees that the United States Postal Service (USPS) would have to make ‘difficult’ changes to cut costs. The changes stated in the memo included leaving mail behind at the distribution centers if it delayed letter carriers from their routes. Multiple media outlets report that previously carriers were trained to never leave behind mail and to make multiple trips if necessary.
Calling his plan a long-overdue “operational pivot,” the PMG’s memo read, “all trips must depart on time; late trips are no longer authorized or accepted.”
In response, staunch USPS supporter, Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ) responded, “the deliberate delaying of American’s mail delivery would be a stunning act of sabotage against our Postal Service. If these reports are accurate, Trump and his cronies are openly seeking to destroy the Post Office during the worst public health crisis in a century.”
When asked about the operational changes, the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) said, “NALC has not received any notification or information on operational changes from the Postal Service. Once we have had an opportunity to review any such changes, we will use existing processes to address any service or compliance issues.”
According to the Washington Post, the memo says the agency will “prohibit overtime and strictly curtail the use of other measures local postmasters use to ameliorate staffing shortages.”
American Postal Workers Union (APWU) President Mark Dimondstein told the Washington Post that “overtime is being used because people need their packages in this pandemic. They need their mail in this pandemic. They need their medicines in this pandemic. They need their census forms. They need ballot information.”
Vote-by-mail advocates say any new policy which slows deliveries might mean bad news for mail-in ballots.
MJ Hegar, Democratic Senate candidate in Texas is quoted in a salon.com article as saying, “the people in power are trying to keep voter turnout low, and they’re hoping that fear keeps us from exercising our constitutional right to vote so they can stay in power.”
“This attack on the USPS is just another, in a long line of attempts by this administration to privatize the Postal Service,” said Union Label and Service Trades Department President Richard Kline. “For years, Trump has wanted to sell the USPS. We cannot allow that to happen, not now, not ever.”