HomeHome Page FeaturedBoyle joins postal workers to demand USPS funding

Boyle joins postal workers to demand USPS funding

U.S. House Rep. Brendan Boyle on Tuesday went to the Bustleton Station Post Office to speak out about defunding the USPS during a health pandemic and upcoming election.

U.S. House Rep. Brendan Boyle on Tuesday went to the Bustleton Station Post Office to speak out about defunding the USPS during a health pandemic and upcoming election. LOGAN KRUM/TIMES PHOTO

U.S. House Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-2nd dist.) on Tuesday gathered alongside local postal worker union members outside the Bustleton Station Post Office to speak in demand for USPS funding.

The American Postal Workers Union hosted a national day of action to speak out against recently appointed Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, who it said implemented policies causing delays in mail.

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Boyle stressed the importance of having mail delivery during a pandemic and during the upcoming election. He also spoke about residents who depend on delivery for checks and medication that they need.

“It is simply wrong and unconscionable what this administration is doing to our US Postal Service,” Boyle said.

Many households in Philadelphia are reporting delays in their mail, with some residents experiencing delays of up to three weeks and longer. According to a USPS report that was presented at the House Oversight Committee’s hearing with DeJoy, the delivery rate for first-class mail fell about 8.1 percent from the middle of July to the beginning of August.

Around that time, DeJoy implemented a new policy that required postal truck drivers to leave mail behind at processing plants if the sorting process runs late.

“DeJoy has one agenda in order, and it’s President Trump’s agenda of making chaos at the election and helping Trump try to get re-elected,” said Local APWU #89 president Nick Casselli.

Local APWU #89 president Nick Casselli speaks about protecting USPS and fixing disassembled letter sorting machines. LOGAN KRUM/TIMES PHOTO

Casselli said that seven or eight letter-sorting machines, which can organize up to 100,000 pieces of mail a night, are disassembled in Philadelphia facilities. He said maintenance workers could repair the machines at no extra cost, whereas DeJoy said they would cost millions of dollars to repair.

To put things in perspective, Vince Tarducci, national business agent for the American Postal Workers Union, said during the month of December the USPS handles billions of Christmas cards.

“Right now we’re dealing with packages throughout the country, word is it’s like Christmas on steroids,” he said. “I’m letting you know we are capable to process the mail, whether it’s the ballots, Christmas cards or anything.”

People at the post office passed out fliers encouraging residents to contact their senators by calling 202-224-3121 and telling them to approve the USPS rescue plan and to remove DeJoy from his position.

Last week, the House passed the Delivering for America Act, which prohibits USPS from making changes to operations or levels of service from those that were in effect at the beginning of the year, and would continue to do so for the duration of the pandemic. The act also ensures election mail will be treated as first-class mail and be processed and cleared the day it is received.

The act would also provide $25 billion in funding for the Postal Service, the figure recommended by the USPS Board of Governors.

Vince Tarducci, national business agent for the American Postal Workers Union, said USPS lost $50 billion during COVID-19. LOGAN KRUM/TIMES PHOTO

“The USPS under COVID has lost about $50 billion,” Tarducci said.

On Aug. 20, Boyle sent a letter signed by 59 members of Congress to DeJoy highlighting how the delays in mail could impact veterans, many of whom rely on the mail to get medication delivered. The Department of Veterans Affairs fills about 80 percent of its prescriptions by mail, which accounts for about half a million prescriptions per day.

“Americans, especially our veterans, count of the USPS to provide dependable and secure deliveries, especially in the midst of a public health crisis,” Boyle wrote in the letter. ••

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