STATEWIDE – Postal workers played a critical role in the past U.S. election, making sure millions of Americans were able to vote. However, they say they aren’t receiving credit for it.
With the help of the U.S. Postal Service, over 65 million Americans were able to vote safely and securely amid the pandemic.
However, due to Post Master General Louis DeJoy’s new USPS policies, postal employees are stuck in the cross hairs of political battles and deeper funding problems.
“His polices adversely impacted the mail. It causes delays and we saw that in August, here in Maine. We highlighted an incident which delayed trips,” said Scott Adams, president at APWU 458.
In mid-July, DeJoy agreed to prioritize election mail and allow late or extra mail trips, which had a hard hit on the industry.
According to the a USPS data by the office of Senator Gary Peters, the postal service delivered more than 90% of mail on-time before DeJoy’s changes were implemented.
“It’s taking everyone longer. It’s taking overtime, and more people have to come in who aren’t on the overtime list and had days off. People are working seven days a week and this is leading to a lot of issues of of people being tired,” said Mark Seitz, president at NALC branch 92.
Seitz said the Postal Service was one of the industries that did not receive COVID-19 financial relief funding during the pandemic.
Postal employees are disappointed with the undermining of their hard work and believe the people have a role to play.
“Our job now should be to make sure the Postal Service is strong, and our letter carriers have what they need to continue to serve us in the way that they do, and that we are supporting them,” said Anna Kellar, executive director at LWVME.
Postal employees said they hope DeJoy sees the error of his ways and eliminates policies that have proved to be damaging.