Last week we reported that Louis DeJoy, the U.S. postmaster general, a major Trump donor and loyalist, announced that he was reassigning and displacing 23 US Postal Service executives, including two who oversee day-to-day operations. The news caused alarm in Democratic circles, three months from a presidential election which plans to rely heavily on mail-in voting amid the coronavirus pandemic. “Friday Night Massacre” trended on Twitter at the news.
Now, it appears, the alarm is warranted.
Reuters spoke with American Postal Worker Union leaders who say that yes, the shakeups are leading to mail delivery issues.
Scott Adams, the president of American Postal Worker Union Local 458 in Maine, told Reuters that a new order to leave on time, “even if the mail has not been loaded” has caused thousands of delayed letters.
Another rule, which requires carriers to leave first thing in the morning with only packages and letters sorted the night before, has required many carriers to “double back to pick up a second batch later in the day,” according to a union leader in Iowa.
Reuters adds: “Internal Postal Service documents seen by Reuters acknowledge that the changes may lead to delays. ‘One aspect of these changes that may be difficult for employees is that — temporarily — we may see mail left behind or mail on the workroom floor or docks,’ says one memo, dated July 10. The plan hopes to eliminate 64 million working hours nationally to reduce personnel costs, according to another memo.”
In his “Closer Look” segment on Tuesday night, Late Night‘s Seth Meyers took a look at Trump’s plan to sabotage the US Postal Service before the election.
Said Meyers: “It’s incredibly suspicious to have a right-wing businessman and megadonor in charge of a nonpartisan agency like the Postal Service. You think of postal workers as charming friends and neighbors straight out of Mayberry. This is like if your town ice cream man was replaced by Karl Rove. [in Karl Rove voice] ‘Here you go, kid, one bullet pop. That will be $6,000. They’re made by Raytheon.’”
Meyers also had something to say to Trump: “The Postal Service turned a profit as recently as 2006. Second, you’re the last person on earth who should be complaining about someone else losing money. You lost a billion — one billion dollars — in the ’80s and ’90s, which was more than any single taxpayer in the country lost, and you also somehow managed to lose money on casinos, which I didn’t even think was possible.”
The Daily Show‘s Trevor Noah had a lot to say about it on Tuesday night as well. Launching his segment, Noah said, “With the presidential election right around the corner, the big question is no longer, ‘Will Donald Trump try to cheat?’ It’s now become, ‘How will Donald Trump try to cheat?'”
Noah later added, of Trump: “I mean, this guy is spending $20 million to sue mail-in voting. Normally when Trump spends that much money suing you, it’s because you’ve seen him naked.”