Community calls for support of Postal Service, workers

Postal Service employees say some of the actions Postmaster General Louis DeJoy have affected their work, and the moves are frustrating.
“When the Postmaster General testified Friday that there were unintended consequences that slowed the mail, that’s true, I can attest to that,” said Scott Dulas, an officer and steward with NALC 114. “We’re very happy that he’s put some of his programs on hold.”
It’s frustrating because there haven’t been good reasons given for the changes, Dulas said. “We’ve been doing it this way forever, and this way is going to cost more and take more time. It’s not making sense.”
DeJoy spoke in hearings last week about transportation issues and setting new deadlines to get mail out on the street more quickly. In the past, Letter Carriers would sometimes have to wait while parcels came in and were sorted for that day’s delivery. DeJoy’s changes called for Letter Carriers to leave earlier, leaving some parcels for delivery the next day.

Amazon parcels were usually the ones being waited on, and it has now switched to shipping through other carriers in some ZIP codes, dropping the number of parcels delivered by the Postal Service possibly in half.

“We take great pride in our work, and it’s disheartening to see changes that would disrupt services, no matter what they are,” said Todd Fawcett, president of APWU. “we’re essential workers, we’ve been working through the pandemic, we’ve been risking our lives to do it without extra pay.”

Compounding the confusion over these moves is the fact that the Postal Service routinely gets high marks from the public for their work and provides a needed service to millions. “We deliver thousands of prescriptions to veterans from the VA every day, and we’re the No. 1 employer of veterans outside the department of defense. There are so many things the country loves about the Postal Service and actually needs us for. We don’t want to see those things go away.”

The public turned out last week to support Postal Service employees at two post offices in Duluth and at other locations across the state. “We appreciate that the community came out,” Fawcett said. “This is a service that goes to everybody, and it affects everybody. We don’t want it to be disrupted. We just want to get the job done.”

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