Message to Members from APWU National Executive Board In Response to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s Destructive Policy Changes
The Postal Reorganization Act of 1970 is clear: “The United States Postal Service shall be operated as a basic fundamental service provided to the people by the Government of the United States, authorized by the Constitution, created by Act of Congress and supported by the people. The Postal Service shall have as its basic function the obligation to provide postal services to bind the Nation together…It shall provide prompt, reliable and efficient services to patrons in all areas and shall render postal services to all communities.”
Postal workers are extremely dedicated to this mission of connecting and serving people, individuals and businesses alike. We treat the mail as if it were our own. We never leave mail behind. From one end of the country to the other, and in every community, this is how we work. Our commitment is exemplified by the heroism of front line essential postal workers during this dangerous and challenging pandemic.
Little wonder that the public, no matter their political affiliations, fully trusts postal workers and the Postal Service with a 91% favorability rating.
The new Postmaster General, Louis DeJoy, a multi-millionaire businessman who knows little of the inner-workings of the public Postal Service, has been in office just a little over one month. Yet without consultation or input from any of the postal unions, postal customers or mailing community he has launched a series of actions that will undermine the postal service and are an insult to every postal worker, every postal craft and every postal customer.
These initial actions include reducing hours in retail units including Saturday closings, delaying mail, slowing down service, further removal of mail processing equipment, arbitrarily reducing work hours and eliminating overtime. With an already understaffed operation, reducing hours and overtime can only lead to severely delayed mail and packages.
Workers are fair minded and certainly wanted to give the new PMG a chance to prove himself as a defender of the public institution he has been entrusted to lead. But DeJoy has wasted no time in declaring where he stands. The stated goal of the White House is to sell the public Postal Service to private corporations. The only way to dismantle and privatize so popular of a public institution is to undermine service to the point that the people no longer trust and support it. Unfortunately, DeJoy, thus far, appears to be marching down this path.
The American Postal Workers Union vehemently opposes any actions that slow down and undermine mail processing, delivery and retail services and thus drives business and revenue away from the Postal Service.
We contrast the path of cutting service and hours, with our continued calls for expanded postal services, such as financial services and the return to overnight mail within the same geographic locations.
We will aggressively enforce the provisions of our union contract as it relates to work hours, job postings and overtime pecking orders.
We will unite with the people of the country to defend their right to “prompt” and “reliable” service and the universal service mandate that ensures equal service to everyone – all 160 million addresses every day.
Community by community, neighborhood by neighborhood, we will fight to keep post offices open and available to postal patrons at the times most convenient for customers.
We will continue to pressure Congress for COVID related emergency relief of at least $25 billion to make up for projected lost revenue due to the pandemic induced economic crisis.
To win, this cannot be just a union leadership fight. The union is each and every one of us and therein lies our strength. We all have a role to play reaching out to our families, neighbors, labor and community organizations, and local political representatives to fight for our jobs and our service.
Stay tuned, stay ready! United with each other and the people of the country we will defeat those who aim to dismantle and sell off the public Postal Service.
Through many Postmaster Generals and Administrations, the objectives of the American Postal Workers Union and proud postal workers have remained steadfast, as they do today: decent jobs, safe working conditions, job security, dignified retirement, social justice, and an enhanced and vibrant public Postal Service for generations to come.