Recently, a close friend mentioned how much worse the mail had gotten recently. She had to send a package from Chantilly (a suburb of Fairfax, VA) to Richmond, a little over 100 miles away.
It took 9 days for it to get there. NINE days. No holidays — just one Sunday during that time.
Back in the 1860s, the Pony Express could deliver mail … from the east coast all the way to the west coast … in just over 10 days. Horses can travel anywhere from 35 - 50 miles a day, but they need frequent breaks to do so for 3 days straight. And at 3 mph (20 minutes per mile), an 8 hour hike can cover about 24 miles.
So she literally could have walked to Richmond — and back — in the time it took for her letter to be delivered.
The Post Office is:
“not a business, not a corporation, not designed to make money,” said Ray Bell, president of the Boston Metro American Postal Workers Union. “This is not a labor dispute; this is a public service issue. The American people are owed postal services. The service is breaking its social contract with customers.”
“We want to let the public know that the service is being stolen from under their feet,” said Scott Hoffman, a former president of the Boston local who is serving as a national business agent for American Postal Workers Union. “Under the guise of consolidation, the service is selling the infrastructure that took 200 years to build.”
The deterioration of customer service, delays in deliveries and cancellation of prearranged appointments for passports was part of a concerted effort to discredit the service with the public and later privatize it. “This erodes confidence in the Postal Service and ripens it for privatization,” Hoffman said. He speculated that other delivery services would reap the benefits, and be allocated lucrative routes, while the Postal Service would be left delivering to destinations such as “a mountaintop cabin in Idaho,” where there was no profit to be made.
Meantime, dejoy’s plan to impoverish rural postal workers (and their customers) continues apace. Nearly two-thirds of rural workers are seeing their pay cut at his behest. A new payment structure was negotiated back in 2012 — its troubled implementation finally began this year. However,
“Instead of fixing those [problems] before implementation, the Post Office took the position of, let’s go ahead and put this in place, let everyone go down in pay, and then we’ll just come back and fix these mistakes a little bit later.”
While Senate Democrats are speaking out, ultimately we won’t be rid of this disastrous 10 year plan to destroy the Post Office until we’re rid of its chief architect. And that can only happen if President Biden appoints 2 more people to the Board of Governors who will finally show dejoy . . . da door.
In April, Biden signed a bipartisan USPS reform bill that got rid of the monstrous regulation requiring the Post Office to pre-fund retirement benefits for all workers for the next 75 years over just …10 years. Here’s what he had to say at the signing ceremony:
“It’s no exaggeration to say that the Postal Service delivers democracy. And it’s no exaggeration to say the Postal Service is as essential as it ever was, has ever been, today,”
It’s time for him to back that up by appointing 2 new governors to the board who agree.