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Postal changes causing delays

DEAR EDITOR:

Greek historian Herodotus said “Haste in every business brings failures.” Recent actions of USPS Postmaster General Louis DeJoy are proving that true. Reckless changes, disguised as reform, have taken a toll at Youngstown’s mail sorting facility.

Mail processing machines were taken from service at a week’s notice. This delays your mail by making it longer to process. Truck drivers, who previously were told to wait on delayed mail, now face discipline if they don’t depart on schedule — even if they leave mail behind. Concerned about timely ballot delivery? You should be.

Youngstown employees were directed to remove two of seven letter mail processing machines within the facility and modify some remaining machines. Bowing to public pressure, DeJoy announced an immediate halt on equipment changes, putting all revisions in Youngstown at a standstill.

As a consequence, a third machine is now out of service and management says it won’t be back. Capacity to sort mail in the facility has decreased 42 percent in a matter of weeks with no preparation. It will take the remaining machines almost twice as long to process the same amount of mail. To make matters worse, the peak mail season is not even here. USPS officials are confident the changes will have no ill effect but local employees know they have and will.

During the pandemic, postal employees have proven their devotion to fulfill USPS’s mission to “bind the nation together.” Unfortunately, dedication alone will not deliver results after this catastrophic “reform.”

Summoned before a U.S. Senate Committee, Postmaster General DeJoy’s testimony left more questions than answers. He provided nothing to justify sweeping changes made in the two months since being appointed.

PMG DeJoy’s self-professed “for-profit” business acumen does not parallel the unique “universal service” model of the USPS. Volume, personal service and reach of mail delivery provide the essential components that cement its ability to outperform competitors. Major postal reform set in motion by the new Postmaster General is premature at best. In contrast to claims of a manufactured crisis, facts show nationwide delays and a drop in delivery performance since the PMG’s appointment.

A perilous course has been set for the Youngstown post office; it is being dismantled piece by piece. Loss of machinery, threats to staffing and delivery delays are happening now, with more likely to follow.

This fight goes far beyond election time. I urge you to contact your Congressional representatives and tell them the Youngstown post office and its mail processing facility are integral to our community. It is your post office. It needs your support.

TRACEY

PETREKOVICH

American Postal

Workers Union

Local 443, Cortland

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