Postal advocates are still calling for the removal of postmaster general Louis DeJoy over his plans to essentially privatize the U.S. Postal Service.
The Donald Trump appointee has drawn criticism for changes he called for that resulted in delays, cuts and other upheavals, as well as his conflicts of interest, and postal employees unions are fighting plans to consolidate 18 processing facilities into regional centers, reported The Guardian.
“All of these consolidations, they weren’t anywhere near as successful as what they would say," said Greg Davidson, president of American Postal Workers Union (APWU) Local 4088. "I would say they were actually disastrous. The mail has slowed down. They reduced the service standards.”
Postal advocates warn that DeJoy's changes are already hurting low-income and rural Americans, as well as small businesses, after the postmaster general released a 10-year austerity plan that called for longer delivery windows, cuts to branch hours, postage rate increases and other changes intended to improve financial sustainability.
“The 10-year plan is a plan for privatization -- it just doesn’t use the ‘p’ word,” said Porter McConnell, co-founder of the Save the Post Office Coalition. “It’s already happening. I think what they’ve discovered is that you can privatize without talking about it.”
Prices have risen as service declines, and additional increases were imposed for priority mail last week, drawing criticism from union leaders who complain the postal service has moved toward operating as a business instead of a public service.
“This is the closest that we’ve ever come to actually being privatized,” said Kimberly Karol, president of the APWU in Iowa. “We do everything we possibly can to make sure people get the mail in the way that they are expecting. The plans and the rules that are being put in place are making that nearly impossible for us to do any more and it’s heartbreaking. I’ve been with the postal service for 30 years. That’s a hard thing for us to come to terms with.”