SCHUMER PUSHES NEW ACTIONS TO STOP DESTRUCTIVE CHANGES IN THE POSTAL SERVICE IMPACTING SOUTHERN TIER & DEMAND SENATE CALL DEJOY FOR HEARINGS THIS WEEK; DRIVES LEGISLATION TO FORCE DEJOY TO ‘BACK OFF’; PLAN WOULD UNDO CHANGES NOW SLOWING DOWN THE MAIL & WOULD ALSO ENSURE OUR MAIL-IN BALLOTS ARE TREATED AS FIRST CLASS PRIORITY
Senator Has Warned Postmaster About Actions That Will Jeopardize Southern Tier Delivery Of Medications, VA Benefits, SS & Of Course Hobble The Nov. Election & Now Plans New Fight
Warning that destructive changes to the U.S. postal service continue without reprieve, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer, who has been leading efforts to undo these changes, pushed new actions, today, against Postmaster DeJoy and the policies being implemented to undermine the U.S. postal service. Standing at the U.S. Post Office in the City of Norwich, Schumer also demanded DeJoy be in U.S. Senate hearings this week as he drives legislation to force the postmaster to “back off.” Schumer’s plan would reverse changes now slowing down the mail and would also ensure our mail-in ballots are treated as First Class priority. Schumer said he has warned DeJoy 1:1, highlighted problems across New York, including the Southern Tier, but now the Senate needs to act in an immediate way if the attack on the USPS might stop.
“What has been—and continues—to go on with the postal service, the undermining and destructive policies that are so clearly intent on upending a system that has worked for generations has simply got to stop,” said U.S. Senator Charles Schumer. “I’m pushing new action here to undo the changes and get DeJoy to back off. Moreover, we will use the letter of the law to call the postmaster for hearings this week while driving legislation to fix the mess he’s purposely made. Bottom-line, we will not stand for the in-your-face slowing down of the mail and the undermining of Americans who depend on medications, VA benefits, paychecks, even food, and we will not allow of this to take place all in an effort to hobble the November election—no way.”
Schumer said he will demand the Senate call Postmaster DeJoy for hearings this week AND drive new legislation that would:
1) Undo the changes slowing down the mail
2) Ensure our mail-in ballots are treated as First Class priority mail
Schumer warned that if DeJoy continues to go unchecked, the Southern Tier’s more than 3,900 postal jobs would be jeopardized, along with its critical functions that support everyday door-to-door service but also ensure critical medications, VA benefits, Social Security checks paychecks, food and more make it to their destinations. Specifically, In addition, Schumer said there are 1,351 postal workers who operate within NY’s 19th congressional district, which includes neighboring Otsego County and the mid-Hudson Valley region, and 1,308 in NY’s 23rd congressional district.
Schumer said he remains seriously concerned because the USPS recently directed operational changes in post offices and processing centers. On August 7, 2020, the USPS announced a significant reorganization of Postal Service leadership and functions, which could impact the Southern Tier.
The destructive changes, Schumer notes, include the elimination of extra mail transportation trips, the reduction of overtime, the start of a pilot program for mail sorting and delivery policies at hundreds of post offices, and the reduction equipment at mail processing plants. Schumer said these decisions absolutely have an impact on New York and America, a case he made to the postmaster in person.
In urging the postmaster, both in letters and personally, Schumer argued the Postal Service is an “essential public institution with an obligation to serve every community in the nation.” Schumer told DeJoy he should not make changes in the Southern Tier that will slow down mail or compromise service for veterans, small businesses, rural communities, seniors, and millions of Americans who rely on the mail for medicines, essential goods, voting, correspondence, and for their livelihoods. The Postal Service has characterized these changes as efficiency or cost-saving measures and add they minimized any “temporary service issues” as an “inevitable” side effect of implementing new procedures, Schumer and colleagues noted in a recent letter.
Schumer has argued that in the midst of a pandemic, these actions, whether intentional or not, are already causing mail delays across the country and appear to constitute an unacceptable threat to the Postal Service and the millions of Americans who depend on it. According to Time, amid the pandemic, many postal service employees have seen their workload double because Americans started ordering more medicine and food online from inside their homes. But the volume of letter mail – the USPS’s biggest revenue stream – has fallen. In April, the U.S. Postmaster General, told the Congressional Committee on Oversight and Government Reform that revenue losses this fiscal year could reach $13 billion. Schumer said that the USPS is like any other business that has been provided relief and assistance and that the numbers prove they’ve been hard hit.
Schumer was joined by Nicole Burnett, President of American Postal Workers Union Local 257, and a Chenango County resident dependent on USPS services: Howard Davisson, a South New Berlin resident and veteran who receives his medication through the mail.
Schumer explained he has received dozens of complaint calls to his office in recent weeks from USPS customers throughout the Southern Tier.