Postal Workers Resist Attacks

Disabled mail-sorting machines and other equipment at the U.S. Postal Service facility in Tacoma. Image credit: American Postal Workers Union via KUOW

Postal workers in Tacoma, Washington, according to reports by local media, defied their top management last week by reconnecting the sorting machines which post office bosses had ordered shut down. Postal officials claimed that increasing efficiency required eliminating sorting machines in many locations around the country. But taking the machines out of service immediately delayed mail in some locations by as much as a week, impacting essential deliveries such as prescription medicine. If the removal of essential mail delivery equipment is not reversed, voting by mail will be undermined. Voting by mail, a necessity in the face of COVID, is something that Trump wants to prevent in order to improve his election prospects.

U.S. Post Office CEO Louis DeJoy admitted that eliminating sorting machines had indeed slowed mail, but said that he would not order the reinstallation of the dismantled machines. However, in at least a few places, that seems to be happening anyway, as a USPS spokesman revealed on Monday, August 24.

Postal workers around the country have loudly protested not only the decommissioning of essential equipment, including neighborhood mailboxes, but also cuts to overtime which contribute to mail delays. Many postal workers have had to miss work because of COVID. So offering the remaining workers overtime is necessary to fill in the gaps and also to deal with increased package shipments.

Postal workers who stand up against the attacks on their jobs and the services we all need are doing the right and necessary thing.