Milwaukee Postal Union Leader Responds To Postmaster General's Changes
Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has faced backlash for cuts and changes he’s been implementing at the United States Postal Service (USPS). Many of those changes raised questions about the mail-in voting process for the presidential election in November.
DeJoy has been criticized for removing mail processing equipment and collection boxes as well as banning overtime for workers. This week he announced he would put a hold on those changes until after the election. But it’s unclear if he’ll reverse any of the policies and alterations he’s put in place since June. DeJoy will have a chance to defend his decisions when he testifies in front of the U.S. Senate Friday.
Chris Czubakowski is the Vice President of the American Postal Workers Union in Milwaukee. He’s concerned the removal of some mail sorting machines is part of an effort to politicize the USPS before an election when more people are relying on mail-in ballots.
“If we the post office can handle a billion cards between Thanksgiving and Christmas, 150 million election ballots is a snap for us,” he says. “You know, it’s right there in the math. We have a track record of doing more mail than any election would require.”
Czubakowski is worried about a push from the Trump administration to privatize the postal service, which he argues could slow down mail delivery. He wants to see the USPS expand the services it offers to increase revenue and see every state offer universal mail-in voting.
“I just want to be clear. Postal workers know how to process the mail. It’s in our culture, it’s in our DNA, every piece, every day,” says Czubakowski.
The USPS didn’t receive any direct funds from the CARES Act, but was granted a $10 billion loan. Postal workers often help deliver packages the last mile for private companies such as Amazon, an online retail giant that was among the companies that received Paycheck Protection Program loans. U.S. House Democrats are pushing for an additional $25 billion boost in funding for the USPS.
President Donald Trump doesn’t support more funding for the USPS, but has said he would sign a bill that included additional funds. Czubakowski worries about how politics are playing into what he sees as a non-partisan organization serving all people.
“This is the people’s Post Office and regardless of whether you're Republican, or whether you're a Democrat, everyday Americans depend on the postal service to deliver them the most important things and they know that they can trust us to do so,” he says.