It’s the most wonderful time of the year – unless you’re a postal worker. Thanks to chronic understaffing and Amazon’s increasing use of the agency’s last-mile delivery service, the mail is piling up at post offices across the country and overwhelming already-overworked USPS employees. And that’s just the stocking stuffer: these Christmastime delays will become the year-round norm, from Janesville to Nashville to Whoville, if real-life Grinch Louis DeJoy gets his way*. As The Guardian’s Michael Sainato reported last week, the Postmaster General is currently implementing a “10-year austerity plan” that would slash working hours at hundreds of post offices and shutter vital postal sorting facilities.
More than 90,000 rural letter carriers for the United States Postal Service (USPS) are battling changes to their compensation which have led to massive pay cuts and longer workweeks. The replacement of the pre-existing method of calculating rural carriers’ hours and wages has resulted in wage cuts as high as $20,000 a year in some cases. Rural carriers’ attempts to challenge and prove any discrepancies between their actual work and what is calculated by the new system have been derailed by the USPS’s refusal to disclose the year-long electronic collection of data used by the system which they alone control.
More than a year and a half into President Joe Biden's first term, Louis DeJoy—a megadonor to former President Donald Trump and a villain in the eyes of progressives and many Democratic lawmakers—is still running the U.S. Postal Service. DeJoy's staying power in the face of widespread outrage over his sabotage of postal operations and his ethics scandals, one of which spurred an FBI probe, can largely be attributed to the loyalty of the USPS Board of Governors, a majority of which has remained supportive of the postmaster general amid repeated calls for his ouster over the past two years. While Biden lacks the authority to fire DeJoy directly, he does have the ability to alter the composition of the postal board, which can replace the postmaster general with a simple-majority vote.
Postmaster General Louis DeJoy may have broken federal conflict of interest laws by holding investments in a company with federal government contracts for COVID rapid test kits, according to a government watchdog’s analysis of the embattled Trump appointee’s financial disclosures. The Project on Government Oversight (POGO) found in a report released last week that DeJoy owns roughly between $50,000 and $250,000 of stock in Abbott Laboratories, which produces the popular BinaxNow COVID testing kits. Earlier this year, federal officials awarded Abbott a $306 million contract for test kits as part of the government’s plan to send households free tests through the United States Postal Service (USPS). Abbott also recently won a contract modification for over $1 billion for test kits.
Congress recently passed the Postal Service Reform Act - the result of 15 years of organizing to end the mandate to prefund 75 years worth of retirement benefits and other changes that were hurting the people's post office. The new act opens the door to building on the current postal infrastructure to provide more services to people, especially in poor and rural communities. Clearing the FOG speaks with Chuck Zlatkin, the legislative and political director of the largest local postal worker union, about what the new law will do and how it was won. Zlatkin also discusses the fight over making the new postal fleet electric and Biden's new nominees to the Board of Governors. Zlatkin warns us not to underestimate the Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, who is playing a long game to privatize the postal service.
New York City - When the United States Postal Service launched a test program in September allowing people with business or payroll checks to get them loaded onto gift cards at four neighborhood post offices, it was seen as a primitive precursor to a postal banking system. But in order for the test to be successful and mature into a pilot, it has to actually be, well, tested. According to postal employees at Baychester Station in the Bronx, one of four locations nationwide where the test is being carried out, not a single business or payroll check transaction was made between September 13, when the test launched, and October 31. Some union leaders who support the postal banking concept have become frustrated by the selection of Baychester, and the lack of muscle for the project from the USPS.
The current US Postmaster General, Louis DeJoy, and the head of the Board of Governors, Ron Bloom, launched a ten year plan that will slow mail service and raise prices. This is the final blow to defund and destroy the US Postal Service so it will be ripe for privatization. DeJoy and Bloom have financial stakes in this happening. Clearing the FOG speaks with Chuck Zlatkin, legislative and political director for the largest postal union local in the US about the plan and the devastating impact it will have on everyone who relies on the post office. Zlatkin also exposes the blatant corruption, explains how the Biden administration could save the postal service and critiques the new postal baking pilot. We have reached a point where we must act to save the postal service, or we are going to lose it.
Twenty state Attorneys General on Friday filed a joint complaint in an effort to block changes to the U.S. Postal Service enacted last week by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and which critics warn are an overt effort to cripple the mail service from within by slowing delivery times while also increasing the cost to consumers. The official complaint filed by the 20 AGs is directed at the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC), which is charged with providing independent oversight of the USPS, but which the suit alleges betrayed its mandate by allowing the controversial plan put forth by DeJoy to move into implementation on October 1 without proper review.
Defenders of the U.S. Postal Service are urgently renewing their calls for the ouster of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy as his 10-year plan to overhaul the cherished government institution is set to take effect Friday, ushering in permanently slower mail delivery while hiking prices for consumers.
Thursday, September 23, 2021, in front of Brookfield Asset Management's NYC office, 250 Vesey Street, the Rally to Save the Public Post Office: Dump DeJoy & Bounce Bloom was loud and strong. Ron A. Bloom is the Chair of the Postal Board of Governors & also the Vice Chair & Managing Partner of Brookfield where he heads up their $60 billion investment fund. Recently, the Washington Post had an expose that showed that Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has purchased $305,000 in bonds from his boss Ron A. Bloom's company: Brookfield. DeJoy also helped give a $125 million contract to his former company XPO Logistics from the Postal Service. Somehow DeJoy is allowed to keep $30 million in stock that he has in XPO. Bloom's company also holds 1.2 million in stock in XPO Logistics.
The Postal Service is many things—among them, a public service; part of the nation’s critical infrastructure; a regulated monopoly; a good employer, especially for Black workers and military veterans; and a government enterprise competing with and supplying services to private companies. To take advantage of network economies, the United States and other countries shield their postal services from competition in exchange for delivering mail to far-flung and poorer regions. Like transportation and communications networks that are often publicly owned or function as regulated utilities, a national service with standardized pricing promotes commerce and guards against the concentration of economic power.
The story of mail ballots in 2020 is the story of a union postal workforce willing to go to extraordinary lengths to make sure that every vote got delivered. Postal workers did this despite the deliberate holdups created by new Postmaster General Louis “Delay the Mail” DeJoy, and a workforce hit hard by COVID. More than 65 million people voted by mail this fall—a record. And the Postal Service has been working at reduced numbers for months. As of August 40,000 postal employees had been forced to quarantine. Roscoe Woods, president of the 480–481 Area Local of the Postal Workers (APWU) near Detroit, said the workforce he represents is down 30 percent.
A federal judge has ordered the United States Postal Service (USPS) to restore previously decommissioned high-speed mail sorting machines at offices that can’t process election mail fast enough ahead of the upcoming presidential election. The order is the result of a lawsuit filed by New York state in late August. In the order, U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan wrote that, if a post office or distribution center is unable to process election mail, “available processing equipment will be restored to service to ensure that USPS can comply with its prior policy of delivering Election Mail in accordance with First Class delivery standards.”
Before USPS leaders may implement changes that will impact mail delivery on a substantially nationwide basis, the law requires certain procedures to be followed. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, however, ignored that law, instead pushing ahead with changes that have slowed mail delivery across America. Removing collection boxes. Dismantling high-speed mail sorting machines. Reducing employee overtime pay and delivery hours. Telling 46 states and the District of Columbia that the USPS could not guarantee timely delivery of mail-in ballots for the November election.
Why in the world would anyone want to do great harm to one of America’s oldest and most revered institutions, the USPS? Why? It’s the upcoming presidential election, stupid! Talk about a massive dilemma by which our democracy may very well be destroyed! Americans have watched as Louis DeJoy, the newly appointed Postmaster General testified before the Senate and House committees relative to the current conditions of the U.S. Postal Service; conditions that are now at one of the lowest points in USPS history. At these hearings, we saw a snide, arrogant DeJoy make statements that almost everyone knew were false and misleading. He tried to minimize the entire crisis in the USPS by saying that, while it has some problems, they aren’t that bad. He stressed that there would be no problem in delivering the mail-in-ballots to states on time. There is no way in the world that Democrats will ever believe that.