Critics mock Postmaster DeJoy’s consolidation plan as a real danger to the USPS
The officials of the postal union are sound the alarm about the potentially damaging impacts of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s efforts to shore up post offices across the United States as part of his widely condemned Ten-year plan to overhaul the public mail agency.
Government Executive reported Friday that “more than 200 post offices and other U.S. Postal Service facilities are expected to abandon some of their operations as early as this year, as the Postal Agency seeks to consolidate those functions into larger buildings, according to documents shared by management. “.
“The changes will mean that letter carriers will no longer travel to their local facility to pick up mail for their route, but will instead travel longer distances after starting at a consolidated location. Affected post offices will continue retail operations, but many core functions will be removed and relocated,” the outlet noted. “The impacted sites are located in Georgia, New York, Texas, Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, West Virginia, Kentucky, Washington, North Carolina, Indiana and Arkansas. Initial consolidations are expected to begin as early as next month.
Unions representing postal workers have accused USPS management of keeping them in the dark about the consolidation plan, part of DeJoy’s strategy for the next decade.
Charlie Cash, the director of industrial relations for the American Postal Workers Union (APWU), which has 200,000 members, wrote in a message to members on Thursday that “we don’t know much more than what is already out in the public domain.”
Cash said he and other APWU leaders spoke with the postal leadership last month “in what we thought was a meeting to discuss ‘mega-factories'” that DeJoy – a Trump donor and former logistics manager – seeks to establish as alternatives to smaller postal facilities spread across the country.
“Instead, we were ambushed with the [Sortation and Delivery Center] concept,” Cash continued, referencing DeJoy’s strategy. “We have expressed various concerns, in particular about the schedule and the fact that we have not had the opportunity to speak.”
“We have not been advised of the number of employees affected,” Cash added. “We don’t have enough information to determine how this will affect service to the public.”
Chuck Zlatkin, legislative and policy director for the New York Metropolitan Postal Union, expressed similar concerns in a Posting on Twitter late Friday.
“How many post offices will be closed? asked Zlatkin. “How many clerks and drivers will lose their jobs? DeJoy’s big consolidation is a real danger to the public postal service.
At the end of last month, DeJoy – who was mired in scandal throughout his tenure as Postmaster General — presented his plan cut 50,000 jobs at the USPS in the coming years, an announcement that also drew backlash from the APWU.
DeJoy remained at his post and sworn staying “a long time” despite Democratic control of the White House, which has authority over the Postal Board that can fire the postmaster general.
While Biden appointees make up the majority of Postal Service Board of Governorsone of the body’s Democrats — Donald Moak — joined the board’s Republicans in backing DeJoy.
But Moak’s term, along with that of Republican William Zollars, expires in December, giving Biden a opportunity to nominate their replacements and secure enough votes to oust DeJoy.
In a letter earlier this month, urging Biden to choose progressive replacements for Moak and Zollars, a coalition of 83 advocacy groups noted that “despite passing the Postal Service Reform Act (PSRA), DeJoy still plans to raise postage rates to “uncomfortable rates” nationwide.”
“In addition, many post offices are expected to be closed as part of its 10-year restructuring plan, potentially impacting thousands of employees in times of economic crisis,” the groups continued. “After DeJoy’s many failures at the helm, it is imperative that we have a strong, comprehensive and reform-oriented Board of Postal Governors in place to hold him accountable to the true mission and public service goals of the USPS.”