DeJoy silent on lawmakers’ demand for slow mail delivery explanation
Trucks that deliver mail are being held up and delayed by new systems put in place by the Postal Service, under the direction of Trump appointees whose terms have not yet expired since the end of his presidency. The delays, among many other things like delayed delivery of medications are also endangering the 2024 election since delivery of ballots in mail voting can be delayed. | Nam Y. Huh/AP

WASHINGTON—The top brass at the U.S. Postal Service—all appointed by Trumpite Postmaster General Louis DeJoy—is apparently silent, at least on its website, in responding to its regulators’ demand for data about USPS’s slow delivery and DeJoy’s increasing closures.

And it’s giving 22 skeptical senators, who reflect their constituents’ concerns, a cold shoulder, too.

The latest brushoff occurred June 17, Postal Regulatory Commission Communications Director Gail Adams reported. That’s when the panel demanded details about the closures and the slow deliveries.

The panel was the Postal Rate Commission, but it was renamed and given more oversight power.

The commission was following up a May letter from the bipartisan group of senators, seeking detailed information and warning of the bad impact of DeJoy’s scheme on deliveries of vital medicines, perishable goods, and bills—and, a top postal union official in Illinois previously said—ballots.

DeJoy and the corporate cronies he brought with him to run the USPS are mandated, by law, to get, at the very least, a comprehensive advisory analysis and opinion from the commission before moving ahead with such drastic changes. DeJoy told the senators in a contentious hearing in May he was going ahead anyway.

Postal unions have so far been silent on the latest controversy. The Postal Workers (APWU) is scheduled to start national bargaining with the USPS brass on a new contract on June 24.

The panel “requested information about continued large-scale network changes by the Postal Service despite its announced ‘pause’ in implementing parts of the Delivering for America (DFA) plan,” the commission statement said.

It also said DeJoy sent few details about “a pilot test of postal network changes” in its “May 16 response to the commission’s show cause order.” A show cause order is a legal term usually reserved for cases where the recipient must “show cause” why an action should not target them.

While the letter seeks details about the closures and slow delivery, a commission chart accompanying it reveals the scope of the problem.

It says, in the bottom caption the USPS has a national on-time delivery target of 92%.

That conveniently omits the fact that when he first became Postmaster General DeJoy solved “on-time delivery” difficulties by stretching out the targets. That meant first-class mail from Chicago to the Twin Cities, for example, which had a prior target of three-day delivery, now has a five-day target.

And even with the longer targets, the chart shows DeJoy’s plan flunks. Some 91% of the mail was on time the first week of USPS’s fiscal year, last October. It hasn’t been above 90% since and skidded to 60% just after the December 2023 holidays.

DeJoy, true to his corporate class, and to XPO Logistics Inc., which he had headed and which he still owns a large share of, pushes packages instead.

”National service performance in 2024 has been at historic lows, while locations such as Atlanta continue to suffer service problems, even after some improvement in recent weeks,” the commission’s statement adds.

DeJoy had also promised his Delivering for America post office closures, sorting center closures—and resulting forced retirements by Postal Workers—and his switch in emphasis from money-making first-class letters to packages would produce a profit.

Instead, DeJoy, whom former Republican President Donald Trump forced on the USPS, now projects a $65 billion loss over ten years. While head of XPO, DeJoy was also a Republican big giver, starting with a contribution more than four decades ago to arch-racist Sen. Jesse Helms, R-N.C.

“Emerging circumstances and information reinforced the urgency and importance of understanding the impacts and regulatory implications of DFA before the Postal Service makes further changes that impact service,” Postal Regulatory Commission Chair Michael Kubayanda said in the panel’s release.

DeJoy hasn’t answered the senators either, an inspection of the USPS website and the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee site shows. That panel oversees the USPS and its chair, Gary Peters, D-Mich., initiated the letter.

“While USPS claims these changes overall will improve service while reducing costs, there is evidence to the contrary in locations where USPS has implemented changes so farUSPS must stop implementation, restore service in those areas where changes were implemented, and fully understand the nationwide effects of its plan on service and communities,” the senators wrote.

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Press Associates
Press Associates

Press Associates Inc. (PAI), is a union news service in Washington D.C. Mark Gruenberg is the editor.