NEW HARTFORD, IOWA – Iowa Postal Workers, community organizations and their allies are rallying at the New Hartford Post Office on Saturday, August 21st at 10AM in response to the Postal Board of Governors approval of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s new plan which will cause further delays, increase security risks and changes to the quality of service provided by the United States Postal Service (USPS).
Postmaster DeJoy has been slowly implementing changes to the USPS prior to gaining the proper statutory approvals. The Postal Regulatory Commission filed their advisory opinion on the changes in service standards on July 20, 2021, urging USPS to reconsider the proposals outlined in DeJoy’s ‘Delivering for America Plan.’ The Commission noted that this plan has not been properly tested to provide sufficient data to support the claims for cost savings and future financial or product stability, finding that, “the amount of estimated annual cost savings, even if fully realized, does not indicate much improvement, if any, to the Postal Service’s current financial condition…. Therefore, it is not clear that the tradeoff between financial viability and maintaining high-quality service standards is reasonable.”
The current changes being implemented across the country employ private corporations to sort, consolidate and transport mail instead of using USPS. This is a shift in the middle of the delivery process away from vetted employees who take an oath to protect the sanctity of the mail to private corporations that have no obligation to maintain delivery standards or protect the contents of the mail. Now a customer brings in a letter or parcel to their nearest Post Office, a postal employee accepts the item and then the mail is transported to a non-postal Surface Transfer Center (STC), where it is then sorted, containerized and shipped to the delivery destination. At or near this point USPS once again takes custody of the mail piece to facilitate delivery.
“What is important for customers to realize is that the Surface Transfer Center can and does hold the containers or trucks until they are 100% loaded. Customers are seeing their mail sit for days and sometimes weeks with no evidence that the items are moving as a result of the Postal Service relinquishing custody of the mail to these privately owned and operated Surface Transfer Centers,” said Kimberly Karol, President, Iowa Postal Workers Union. “This is not making delivery better or more reliable as Louis Dejoy would want you to believe. It is undermining the confidence of the American public by forcing a change in mailing habits by eliminating previously reliable delivery products. This is not in the best interests of the public or consistent with the core mission of the Postal Service.”
The Postal Board of Governors has the authority and responsibility to ensure that all changes to Postal Policy are consistent with the core mission of providing consistent and reliable delivery service for the American Public. In this regard, they have failed to uphold the duty of their office by approving DeJoy’s disastrous plan to further privatize USPS.
“These changes proposed by DeJoy will delay the delivery of life-saving medications, especially to those in rural America. There is not a single person who can wait weeks or months for their insulin,” said Logun Buckley, Organizer, Iowa Alliance for Retired Americans. “It is not just seniors’ access to their prescription drugs that DeJoy delays in his new plan, but also absentee ballots this fall and in 2022. Seniors overwhelmingly voted by mail in the last election, and this is just further interference from a Trump appointee to attack our democracy and besmirch the hardworking people at the United States Postal Service.”
To bolster their call, concerned supporters will be rallying to Dump DeJoy at the New Hartford Post Office located at 403 Packwaukee St, New Hartford, IA 50660 on Saturday, August 21st at 10:00 AM. We are calling on New Hartford resident Senator Chuck Grassley to stand with the United States Postal Service and denounce DeJoy’s disastrous new plan that would negatively impact service to smaller and more rural communities. We are asking all who take part in the event to wear red to stand in solidarity.