WASHINGTON (WDVM) — Over the summer, U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy announced a series of changes to the U.S. Postal Service, including reducing overtime and removing mail sorting equipment. As a presidential election loomed in the middle of a global pandemic, coupled with President Donald Trump’s skepticism of mail-in voting, General DeJoy was pressured to put those changes on pause.
The American Postal Workers Union recognized the postal worker day of action on Tuesday across the country. A handful of union members and allies met outside of the Brentwood Facility Tuesday morning and protested DeJoy’s changes. They celebrated a successful and unprecedented election season, in which the USPS delivered a record 65 million mail-in ballots. But with the holidays approaching and dwindling staff, the union is calling for the U.S. Senate to pass a substantial coronavirus relief package.
The union is asking for at least $25 billion in immediate support for the Postal Service. Facility maintenance technician Arrion Brown says the USPS is short staffed as many postal carriers and workers have tested positive for the coronavirus. He’s frustrated with the president’s support of price hikes that are coming in 2021.
“It’s an uphill battle when the leader of the country is against you,” he said. “When he’s saying, ‘We’re not going to give you money and raise your prices by four or five times,” which hurts small businesses, which hurts small communities. It’s just difficult because he’s the leader of the country and he’s basically working against postal customers, and by extension, with no postal customers there are no postal workers.”
Brown is asking customers to shop for the holidays early this year so the small staff can meet the high demand. He’s also asking them to contact their senators at 833-924-0085.
“We provide a service to the community that we care for,” Brown said. “This is our job but this is something that we’re also passionate about. It’s a unique service, different from other carriers that deliver packages not to every house, not every day, and we really care for what we do.”