Mail operations drastically weakened under new USPS postmaster general tenure.
Cassandra Loftlin volunteered to bake and ship desserts as a donation to raise money in the Bakers Against Racism campaign. Starting in early July, the Augusta, Georgia chef mailed poundcakes made from her grandmother’s recipe. The process became frustrating when 10 of the 51 orders were lost in the mail.
Though Loftlin used priority mail, her shipments’ tracking were hard to follow, plus some cakes took over two weeks rather than two days to deliver.
Meanwhile, Los Angeles resident Louise Washington anxiously waited for her life saving medications that “ran a week late.” Washington makes up the 20 percent of Americans who use the mail to get their prescriptions. With the global crisis those numbers have more than likely increased.
In New Orleans, Howard Conyers received his absentee ballot in the mail a day after it was due for elections. “I did what I was supposed to do and requested it timely,” posted Conyers who said he requested the ballot in July.
He added, “I know for the next election I am voting in person early. We the American people should demand that all people are allowed to vote in person early due to COVID. ”
This is the state of the US post office, a national service written in the constitution, yet is currently being dismantled by the Trump Administration and his USPS appointed Postmaster General, Louis Dejoy. Since Dejoy’s appointment in May, the Greensboro, North Carolina businessman with no experience in the USPS, implemented a hiring freeze and requested voluntary early retirement buyouts. Plus, he fired 23 executives in what has been called “Friday night’s massacre.”
In prepared opening remarks to the Board of Governors, Dejoy said:
Our financial position is dire, stemming from substantial declines in mail volume, a broken business model and a management strategy that has not adequately addressed these issues. As a result, the Postal Service has experienced over a decade of financial losses, with FY 2019 approaching $9 billion and 2020 closing in on $11 billion in losses. Without dramatic change, there is no end in sight, and we face an impending liquidity crisis.
Democratic leaders say the issues with the USPS point to Trump and Dejoy, a million-dollar plus donar to a pro-Trump PAC, Trump Victory Fund.
“The U.S. Postal Service is an important part of American life — but Donald Trump is trying to destroy it. His administration has recommended rolling back protections for postal services workers and privatizing the USPS ,” said Democratic presidential hopeful, Joe Biden.
During the pandemic, the agency postponed $6 billion in funding to upgrade trucks needed to run the service more efficiently during the crisis. Added mail sorters at dozens of post offices have been trashed, while reports of mail boxes being removed or locked in various states. Dejoy’s cutbacks cause concern for a country heavily relying on mail delivery for medicines, paychecks, and with the coming November elections, mail-in ballots.
In a letter to Dejoy, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) wrote “While it is true that the Postal Service has and continues to face financial challenges, enacting these policies as cost-cutting or efficiency measures as the COVID-19 public health emergency continues is counterproductive and unacceptable.”
On Sunday, Speaker Pelosi who said Trump’s actions are to “sabotage the elections” called the House out of its summer session in a special meeting to testify in an emergency hearing on August 24. “I am calling upon the House to return to session later this week to vote on Oversight and Reform Committee Chairwoman Maloney’s ‘Delivering for America Act,’ which prohibits the Postal Service from implementing any changes to operations or level of service it had in place on January 1, 2020,” said Speaker Pelosi in a statement.
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Before the pandemic, the budget for the USPS could not alleviate years of being in debt. Suffering from President George W. Bush’s Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act which mandated the agency pre-pay 75 years worth of pension for its retirees, placed the USPS in a $14 billion dollar deficit.
Under the Obama Administration, four organizations representing half a million postal workers said that President Barack Obama failed to restructure the agency to be more sustainable. In an effort to stop the financial hemorrhaging of the USPS, the Obama Administration put in major cuts for its 2017 fiscal year. While jobs were lost, the agency made a profit—the first in five years. Though President Obama placed USPS in the black, he was highly critical of its operations. During his presidency, he even attempted to appoint members to the Board of Governors that would favor its privatization.
While it is legal to privatize the USPS, the bloc of unionized postal service workers assert that places the agency at risk to increase service costs to exorbitant fees and places it in jeopardy for “loss of mail security and accountability.”
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