New Postal Policies May Affect 2020 Mail-In Voting, Union Leader Says

Labor News

Reprinted from CNN by Veronica Stracqualursi and Jessica Dean on August 1, 2020.

New, recently implemented US Postal Service procedures — which have led to delays across the country in mail delivery — could affect mail-in voting for the November election, a union leader warned.

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The American Post Workers Union’s president, Mark Dimondstein, told CNN in an interview Friday that the union has received a number of reports from postal workers and customers over the last two weeks that mail delivery has slowed and “degraded.” The union represents more than 200,000 Postal Service employees and retirees.
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Dimondstein said it’s been “demoralizing and upsetting” to the workers who have continued to work throughout the pandemic.
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He told CNN that while postal workers are capable of handling voting by mail, “obviously if the postal management is putting in policies to slow down the mail, then that has an impact on everything, including ballots.” …

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CNN 8/1

 

USPS Workers Concerned New Policies Will Pave the Way to Privatization

Reprinted from The Intercept UK by on July 29, 2020.

July has been a flurry of confusion and stress for postal workers, as a barrage of new measures are threatening to fundamentally overhaul and undermine the culture and operations of the US Postal Service.

Earlier this month, The Washington Post reported on a memo from the new USPS Postmaster General Louis DeJoy urging postal staff to leave behind mail at distribution centers if they thought it would cause a delay for letter carriers. Another memo stated that the USPS would be looking to cut transportation and overtime costs, bringing about “immediate, lasting, and impactful changes” to the federal agency.

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The following week, postal workers learned of yet another new pilot program called Expedited to Street/Afternoon Sortation, or ESAS, that would be rolling out in 384 delivery units nationwide beginning on July 25. The crux of this program, as outlined in an unsigned memo dated July 16, is to send letter carriers out to deliver mail more quickly in the morning by prohibiting them from sorting any mail in their offices before they go.

These changes could delay mail from getting to its final destination by at least one day, if not longer. While the USPS memo billed ESAS as an effort to “improve consistency in delivery time” to customers, reduce overtime, and increase efficiency, postal workers were alarmed and shocked by these new dictates, which appeared to directly undermine a core value of their work.

“These are changes aimed at changing the entire culture of USPS,” said Mark Dimondstein, the national president of the American Postal Workers Union. “The culture I grew up with, and of generations before me, is that you never leave mail behind. You serve the customer, you get mail to the customer. Prompt, reliable, and efficient.” …

The Intercept UK 7/29

About Jeffrey Burman 100 Articles
Jeff Burman served on the Guild’s Board of Directors from 1992 to 2019. He is now retired. He can be reached at jeffrey.s.burman.57@gmail.com.

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