Washington DC — The National Postal Mail Handlers Union proudly represents nearly 50,000 mail handlers working in all of the nation’s large postal plants, throughout the 50 States and Puerto Rico. Our people are responsible for loading and unloading trucks, transporting mail within the facility (both manually and using powered industrial equipment such as fork-lifts), preparing, sorting, and containerizing the mail for distribution and delivery, and operating a host of machinery and automated equipment.
The NPMHU has deep concerns about the actions of newly appointed Postmaster Louis DeJoy. Mail handlers and all postal employees take the mission of universal service and the timely processing of mail seriously. During the coronavirus pandemic, citizens rely on the USPS more than ever. Whether we are processing critical prescriptions or checks, birthday cards or ballots there is no justification for unnecessary delay. There is no justification for blanket reductions in overtime. There is no justification for removing machinery that is being used for the processing and delivery of the nation’s mail. The USPS has the infrastructure, the transportation network, and the dedicated personnel to handle any volume spikes as long as our hands are not tied behind our backs.
Nearly every processing plant in the country has machinery that is idle from time to time. This is attributable to the cyclical nature of mail volume, and the ebb and flow of types of mail. There is no reasonable justification to remove processing equipment a few weeks before the start of a peak volume period such as the 2020 November elections, and the NPMHU opposes such efforts. Employees of the USPS are ready, willing, and able to handle the expected surge of vote by mail materials. If permitted, we will get the mail out, like we do every single holiday season; just let us do our jobs.
The same can be said for the logistics of ground transportation. It is impossible for every truck to run full each trip every day. Mail volume changes greatly from month to month. The Postmaster General’s decision to consolidate trucks routes and eliminate flexibilities in trucking schedules is being done at the expense of service. It makes no sense to force a truck to depart near empty at 6AM, when holding it for ten minutes or sixty minutes would have ensured service and delivery for a community, station or branch.
Postal employees have historically demonstrated that voting by mail is reliable, secure, and efficient. President Trump’s assault on the Postal Service and the service we perform is unfounded. Claims of widespread vote-by-mail fraud are without merit. Mail handlers move the mail without regard to one’s race, religion, income, bias, or political leaning. We are proud to serve every address and resident in the United States.