On Saturday morning, after reports of removal of USPS mail-sorting machines and blue boxes, about 100 protestors gathered outside the apartment building of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy.
What We Know:
- In May of this year, the USPS Board of Governors appointed Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a businessman from North Carolina who has given millions to the Republican Party and $1.2 million to the Trump Victory Fund, reports NPR. In the last months, we have also learned that DeJoy and his wife have $30-$75 million invested in direct competitors to the USPS including UPS and XPO Logistics.
- In August, DeJoy announced significant staffing changes, displacing, or reassigning twenty-three postal executives. He described his actions in an internal memo to employees, stating that the shifts would offer “clear lines of authority and accountability”.
- DeJoy hasn’t just restructured staff since joining the USPS. He has made changes to two key policies that previously kept the mail running efficiently: working overtime and making extra trips to deliver mail. Neither will be allowed moving forward. This has already caused massive delays for USPS, which is short-handed and transporting more mail during the pandemic than during the their busy holiday season.
- The pandemic has had large impacts on postal service workers, skyrocketing the amount of packages they deliver and creating even riskier conditions to do it under. As of May, over 17,000 postal service workers had been quarantined due to coronavirus and the post office saw 60 postal service workers die due to complications related to the virus.
- On Friday, The Washington Post reported that over 671 mail-sorting machines have been removed from USPS locations since June. This comes out amid reports that USPS blue boxes are also being removed across the country.
NEW: @jacobbogage got USPS data showing at least 671 USPS mail sorting machines have been removed across the country since June. Represents a reduction in national mail sorting capacity of 21.4 million pieces of mail per hour. https://t.co/6lOGfByZBC pic.twitter.com/FGV1nto0kn
— Christopher Ingraham (@_cingraham) August 14, 2020
- Congressional Democrats, including Elizabeth Warren, have responded to the cost-cutting initiatives with questions and calls for further examination of DeJoy’s policies. “Given the ongoing concerns about the adverse impacts of Trump Administration policies on the quality and efficiency of the Postal Service, we ask that you conduct an audit of all operational changes put in place by Mr. DeJoy and other Trump Administration officials in 2020,” their letter stated.
- Protesters gathered outside of Louis DeJoy’s residence on Saturday morning and cited his “destructive” policies as their reasoning for the demonstration.
Protesters say they are outside Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s apartment building to protest his destructive leadership ahead of mass mail-in voting in the 2020 presidential election.@wusa9 pic.twitter.com/i2RXEESefO
— Kolbie Satterfield (@KolbieReports) August 15, 2020
- On Sunday, House Democrats announced they would hold a hearing before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform on August 24th and will request that DeJoy attend.
“The hearing will examine the sweeping operational and organizational changes at the Postal Service that experts warn could degrade delivery standards, slow the mail and potentially impair the rights of eligible Americans to cast their votes through the mail in the upcoming November elections.”
At the time of publish, there are no reports of further demonstrations outside of DeJoy’s residence.