The Stand

American Postal Workers Union: ‘This fight is far from over’

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DeJoy says he’ll ‘suspend’ his USPS cuts, but APWU says Congress must do its job and save the public’s Postal Service

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Aug. 19, 2020) — Hours after multiple state Attorneys General — including Washington’s Bob Ferguson — announced plans to sue, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said Tuesday that he will “suspend” his controversial mail-slowing initiatives until after the November elections.

In recent weeks, DeJoy has directed the agency to reduce services, leave behind late-arriving mail, ban overtime, remove mail-sorting machines and public collection boxes, and close mail processing centers including ones in Wenatchee and Yakima. His actions have resulted in significant service disruptions that have not only delayed Americans’ access to needed medications and other necessary deliveries during the COVID-19 pandemic, they have jeopardized mail-in balloting for this fall’s elections.

Mark Dimondstein, President of the American Postal Workers Union, issued the following statement Tuesday in response to DeJoy’s announcement:

The members of the American Postal Workers Union applaud the efforts of postal customers who, along with civil rights and veterans organizations, other labor unions, community groups, and elected officials, pushed back against newly implemented policies instituted by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy. They fought against those measures that were designed to delay mail by canceling overtime, limiting mail transportation, eliminating sorting machines, and reducing Post Office hours.

We welcome the postmaster’s reversal of these policies. These rollbacks would not have happened without public outcry and civic action.  The public would not have been aware of these regressive policies if postal workers around the country had not sounded the alarm.

However, this fight for the public Post Office is far from over.

The COVID-19 induced economic crisis is deeply affecting the projected finances of the United States Postal Service. As a public agency that normally does not rely on tax dollars, a steep drop in revenue linked to the pandemic will cause the USPS to run out of money early next year.

In order for postal workers to continue to carry out their vital work and deliver for the people every day, the USPS is in immediate need of $25 billion in COVID-related financial relief. It’s time for Congress to deliver.

Up until now, the Trump administration has blocked the USPS from any direct financial assistance. The USPS is an essential public service that binds the country together and delivers vital public health information, medicine, financial transactions and needed supplies to every American household and business and is a critical component in our election process with vote-by-mail access to the ballot box.

We do our job. Congress and the administration need to do theirs and ensure that postal workers can safely and reliably deliver for the people of the country during this year and beyond.

The struggle to save the public Postal Service is far from over. The USPS, which delivers to 160 million addresses every day and is normally supported by the sale of stamps and services, needs emergency financial help. And we must ensure that these rollbacks announced today are made permanent and that the people’s Post Office remains a public service. This is the United States Postal Service, not Postal Business. It is overwhelmingly supported by the people and belongs to the people.  They have made it clear that they intend to keep it.

 


The Democratic-controlled House is gathering this week to approve $25 billion in COVID-19 aid to the Postal Service, matching the amount provided under the HEROES Act they passed more than three months ago, which has languished without a vote in the Republican-controlled Senate. The GOP reportedly plans to offer no new money to the Postal Service amid this emergency.

TAKE A STAND Contact your U.S. Senators TODAY and tell them to approve the $25 billion the U.S. Postal Service needs to get through this pandemic. (This action is organized by U.S. Mail Not for Sale, a worker-led campaign sponsored by the American Postal Workers Union and the National Association of Letter Carriers.)

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