Postal union officials are sounding the alarm about the potentially damaging impacts of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s effort to consolidate post offices across the U.S. as part of his widely condemned 10-year plan to reshape the public mail agency.
Government Executive reported Friday that “more than 200 post offices and other U.S. Postal Service facilities are set to shed some of their operations as soon as this year as the mailing agency seeks to consolidate those functions at larger buildings, according to documents shared by management.”
“The changes will mean letter carriers no longer go to their local facility to pick up mail for their route, instead traveling farther distances after starting at a consolidated location. The impacted post offices will still conduct their retail operations, but many of the back-end functions will be stripped away and relocated,” the outlet noted. “The impacted sites are located in Georgia, New York, Texas, Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, West Virginia, Kentucky, Washington, North Carolina, Indiana, and Arkansas. The initial consolidations are expected to begin as soon as next month.”
Unions representing postal workers have accused USPS management of keeping them in the dark about the consolidation plan, an integral component of DeJoy’s strategy for the next decade.
Charlie Cash, the industrial relations director at the 200,000-member American Postal Workers Union (APWU), wrote in a message to members on Thursday that “we do not know much more than what is already published in the public domain.”
Cash said that he and other APWU leaders spoke with postal management last month “in what we thought was a meeting to discuss the ‘mega-plants'” that DeJoy—a Trump donor and former logistics executive—is seeking to establish as alternatives to smaller postal facilities spread out across the nation.
“Instead, we were ambushed with the [Sortation and Delivery Center] concept,” Cash continued, referring to DeJoy’s strategy. “We voiced various concerns, especially on the timeline and how we were not given an opportunity for input.”
“We have not been given the number of employees impacted,” Cash added. “We do not have enough information to make a determination of how this will impact service to the public.”
While Biden appointees constitute a majority of the Postal Service Board of Governors, one of the body’s Democrats—Donald Moak—has joined the board’s Republicans in supporting DeJoy.
But Moak’s term, along with that of Republican William Zollars, expires in December, giving Biden an opportunity to nominate their replacements and secure enough votes to oust DeJoy.
This story has been edited for length. Read the full story at Common Dreams.