The Postmaster General’s New Attack on the Mail is a Fig Leaf for Privatization

May 07, 2021 / Dennis O’Neil

Masked people (Black and white, men and women) holding signs. Most prominent is a handwritten sign: "#Save the Post Office." Preprinted signs say "Stand with Postal Workers" and "Senators, do the right thing! Save USPS"

This rally in Phoenix, Arizona, was one of hundreds held last summer to oppose mail delay and call for emergency funding for the Postal Service. Last year’s villain, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, is back with fresh schemes. Photo: APWU National

The battle over the future of the Postal Service, which was a focus of American political life last year, is still on.

Corrupt and incompetent Postmaster General Louis DeJoy announced in March (with the backing of the present Postal Board of Governors, headed by Chair Ron Bloom) a “10-year plan” to remake the post office from a constitutionally mandated public service into a corporate entity.

The DeJoy-Bloom plan openly promises slower delivery times for much of the mail, steadily increasing postal rates, and reduced access to post offices. (What a combo!) It sets out the next terrain of battle in our fight to save our public postal service.

A PRE-EMPTIVE STRIKE

This plan was pushed out in a hurry as a pre-emptive strike before the Senate could vote to fill the open seats on the Postal Board of Governors with Biden’s nominees—who are apparently all pro-public postal service, pro-democracy, pro-union, and unlikely to support key elements of a plan like this.

It pays lip service to the mission of the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), while abandoning that mission to become a corporate competitor in the parcel delivery business. The plan also opens up the postal service to privatization. It is announced as a 10-year plan to try and lock the changes in.

DeJoy has stopped denying that his proposals will result in delaying the mail and in poor service. Now the slower service is a feature, not a bug.

The plan would reset service standards so that first class mail would be delivered in two to three days in nearby areas (currently it’s one to two days) and up to five days for more distant destinations (currently three to four). The plan doesn’t say what will happen to standards for the other classes of mail: standard letters, catalogs and commercial broadsides, and especially periodicals.

This means a lot of mail processing plants will be closed down. Management just announced 18 plants it wants to axe by November.

More will follow. Iowa Postal Workers (APWU) President Kimberly Karol predicts two of the three plants in her state will be close, leaving only the one in Des Moines—which won’t be able to handle all the mail every day. So one day it will process mail for the eastern part of the state, the next day the northern part, and so on.

“Although they’ll keep delivering every day, the average person is probably only going to see mail three days a week,” Karol said. “This is the start of a very slippery slope.”

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Republicans’ Jim Crow 2.0 Voter Suppression Laws Spark Fight for Democracy (+1 more)

BY LEE DLUGIN

Republicans’ Jim Crow 2.0 voter suppression laws spark fight for democracyPeople rally outside of the Capitol in Lansing, Mich., April 13, 2021, during a rally to support voting rights and end voter suppression. | Matthew Dae Smith / Lansing State Journal via AP

The country is today faced with a fundamental crisis with the proliferation of voter suppression laws, nullification of votes cast, and the determination of the Republican Party and pro-fascist forces to prevent people—particularly African Americans, Latinx, youth, and seniors—from voting.

The so-called excuse for this proliferation is the myth of voter fraud, the same false excuse made for the last 30 years. The right-wing rationale for this myth is to undermine people’s confidence in the electoral system. This fraud is taking place in Maricopa County, Arizona right now with a fourth, and now secret, recount is being done by a private firm with no accountability or transparency almost six months after the election.

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Postal Workers Fight DeJoy Plan to Close Processing Centers and Eliminate Jobs

BY MARK GRUENBERG

Postal Workers fight DeJoy plan to close processing centers and eliminate jobsPostal workers sort mail at the U.S. Postal Service processing and distribution center in Oakland, Calif., on April 30, 2020. Trump-imposed Postmaster General Louis DeJoy plans to close 18 such processing centers nationwide. | Ben Margot / AP

WASHINGTON (PAI)—The 10-year U.S. Postal Service “reform” plan unveiled by Trump-imposed Postmaster General Louis DeJoy includes “the good, the bad, and the ugly” among its elements American Postal Workers Union President Mark Dimondstein says.

And right now, he adds, DeJoy is pushing the bad ahead of the good, as the PMG delivered a notice to the nation’s postal unions on April 27 that he intends to close 18 processing centers nationwide, shifting their services elsewhere.

The closures, Dimondstein said in a video Q-and-A with APWU members that night, would slow down service and cost postal workers’ jobs. “Fighting the closures is not easy, but it can be done if we mobilize,” he said.

He’s put union Vice President Debby Szeredy in charge of APWU’s panel of postal craft leaders to deal with DeJoy’s plans and mobilize members against them.

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