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"[81] Pelosi said that "Lives, livelihoods and the life of our American democracy are under threat from the president. The agony continues … The 2020 United States Postal Service crisis is a series of events that have caused backlogs and delays in the delivery of mail by the United States Postal Service (USPS). [67] Since the operational changes imposed by DeJoy, veterans complain that such prescription deliveries have been delayed, often by weeks. While the judges’ orders primarily focused on postal operations prior to and in the immediate aftermath of the election, they have yet to lift their injunctions. The proposed prices, approved by the Governors of the Postal … Election Commission Regains Quorum and Resumes Full Duties, Facing a Massive Backlog of Work. [32] Arizona secretary of state Katie Hobbs said, "In Arizona, it's against the law to 'delay the delivery of a ballot.' [25] However, 95 percent of the mail sorting machines that were planned for removal had already been removed,[26] and in testimony to the Senate, DeJoy expressed that he had no intention of replacing them. Postal Service over service delays, threat to election", "More Than 20 States Suing Postal Service Over Changes, Despite DeJoy's Reversal", "Federal judge issues temporary injunction against USPS operational changes amid concerns about mail slowdowns", "Records show Postal Service paid millions to DeJoy's former company", https://lawandcrime.com/2020-election/federal-judge-orders-usps-to-conduct-election-day-sweeps-to-ensure-ballots-are-not-delayed-in-key-battleground-states/, https://www.businessinsider.com/federal-judge-sullivan-usps-louis-dejoy-mail-voting-problems-2020-11, https://usatoday.com/story/news/2020/11/04/judge-orders-postal-service-search-missing-ballots/6164636002/, https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2020-election/judge-orders-further-sweeps-postal-service-facilities-undelivered-ballots-n1246667, "As states move to expand the practice, relatively few Americans have voted by mail", "Hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops usually cast ballots by mail. [46], Ultimately, a record number of voters, in excess of 65.6 million, would cast postal votes. The settlement requires the Postal Service … [88] Senator Jacky Rosen asked DeJoy to provide the sources of data collected, data analyses, and considerations of consequences—specifically on veterans dependent on the mail for their prescriptions—that DeJoy had undertaken before implementing the removal of mail sorting machines, "reduction, elimination of overtime and late trips". In a more recent discussion with large-scale mailers, DeJoy more explicitly signaled a return to his initiatives from the summer while finding new ways to grow revenue. Those medications are supposed to arrive within three to five days of being mailed. [7] He testified to the Senate on August 21, and to the House of Representatives on August 24, concerning the changes and their effects. The postmaster general told reporters last month that the Postal Service’s problems can be solved “but we need to get on with the difficult business of solving them.” He promised to “modernize retail and processing operations” as part of a new strategic plan USPS will release in the coming months. ... Postmaster General Louis DeJoy today announced a modified organizational structure for the U.S. "[24] He said he would reinstate overtime hours, roll back service reductions, and halt the removal of mail sorting machines and collection boxes. "[35], U.S. representative Bill Pascrell requested the New Jersey attorney general to empanel a grand jury to investigate whether any state election laws were violated; the AG declined comment. “While we do not intend to comment about the appeals we are pursuing, it remains our view that none of the election mail lawsuits are justified by the facts or supported by the applicable law,” Marshall said. If the action had gone ahead, it would have been Royal Mail's first national postal strike in a decade. One protest took place on August 15 outside of DeJoy's home in Washington, D.C.; a second took place on August 16 at his home in Greensboro, North Carolina. [33] The state lawsuits were filed in spite of DeJoy's announcement that he would be suspending the changes. USPS is appealing a series of preliminary defeats it suffered in federal courts across the country as federal lawmakers, state officials and concerned citizens fought back on new initiatives implemented by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy earlier this year. "[82], Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer demanded that Majority Leader Mitch McConnell bring the Senate back into session also, to consider ways to "undo the extensive damage Mr. DeJoy has done at the Postal Service," but there was no indication McConnell would do so. [51] On August 13, 2020, in an interview with Fox Business Network's Maria Bartiromo, Trump said he was blocking emergency funding for the USPS because of his opposition to mail-in voting. [34] On September 17, 2020, federal judge Stanley A. Bastian, in response to the lawsuit led by Washington state, issued a temporary injunction barring the Postal Service from proceeding with the planned changes, describing them as "a politically motivated attack on the efficiency of the postal service. As the election drew closer, federal judges issued more specific instructions requiring postal management to notify employees that DeJoy’s reforms were null and void. UPS rose less than 1% to $107.52 at the close in New York. Here's what we know", "Here's why the Postal Service wanted to remove hundreds of mail-sorting machines", "Postal Service will stop removing mailboxes", "First in expected flood of lawsuits against USPS, Trump filed in NY federal court", "Pelosi keeps up post office pressure: 'I don't, frankly, trust the postmaster general, "DeJoy's USPS Policy Rollbacks Don't Appear to Change Much", "6 takeaways from the postmaster general's Senate hearing", "18 U.S. Code § 1703 - Delay or destruction of mail or newspapers", "Exclusive: Postal service inspector general reviewing DeJoy's policy changes and potential ethics conflicts", "Amid political controversy, postmaster general's stock holdings come under renewed scrutiny", "Democrats Investigate Whether Trump, DeJoy Violated Laws With USPS Actions", "Several states considering legal action against Trump administration over USPS and mail-in voting", "At least 20 states plan to sue the U.S. No", "The Neutral Partisan Effects of Vote-by-Mail: Evidence from County-Level Roll-Outs | SIEPR", "There Is No Evidence That Voting By Mail Gives One Party An Advantage", "Here's one way Trump could try to steal the election, voting experts say", "As COVID-19 cases increase, most Americans support 'no excuse' absentee voting", "Why Do Election Results Change After Election Day? The Postal Service also paused a pilot program designed to get letter carriers out on their routes first thing in the morning, which would effectively force them to leave some mail behind each day. Postal Service for 15 years. What would become known as the Great Postal Strike—an illegal wildcat strike that threatened the jobs, pensions and even freedom of scores of America’s mail carriers—had just begun. [56][57] However, nonpartisan experts have warned that delays in the delivery of mail-in ballots could be used by Trump to "steal the election" in the event that more Democrats than Republicans choose to vote by mail in the November 2020 elections. [73], Some postal workers, aiming to prevent adverse effects on the election and on customer service, resisted the changes ordered by DeJoy. [16] The changes were described in a memo DeJoy released on August 7, 2020. A Wisconsin businessman said that with the recent changes, some shipments that might once have been no more than a day late now go missing for weeks, and Priority Mail and Express Mail can now take a week or more. Postal Service, forthcoming in May 2020 from UNC Press.. For eight days in March 1970, over 200,000 postal workers staged an illegal “wildcat” strike… The delays have had substantial legal, political, economic, and health repercussions. Share Tweet . [20] After DeJoy's announcement that he would suspend his changes, the Postal Service's director of maintenance instructed employees that "they are not to reconnect/reinstall machines that have previously been disconnected without approval from HQ Maintenance, no matter what direction they are getting from their plant manager. The postal workers see it. [73] Workers in at least two plants in Washington state reassembled their letter-sorting machines in the week that DeJoy announced he would suspend his changes, despite the Postal Service's national order not to reinstall the machines. In some cities people report getting no mail at all for two or three weeks, and standing in line at the post office to see if it is there. "[63], Some companies have complained that the delays are hurting their business, since their reputation is dependent on being able to deliver their wares reliably and promptly. USPS Service Alerts have information for consumers, small businesses and business mailers about postal facility service disruptions caused by weather-related and other natural disasters … DeJoy failed to comply, and judge Sullivan announced that DeJoy "should" be deposed. [99][100][101][102], Events that caused delays in delivery of mail, Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, Postal voting in the 2020 United States elections, Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs, "House accelerates oversight of Postal Service as uproar grows, demanding top officials testify at 'urgent' hearing", "Postal Crisis Ripples Across Nation as Election Looms", "With slower mail and election concerns, Trump's postmaster general is in the hot seat", "What you need to know about US Postal Service's funding crisis, and how it could impact your vote in the November election", "In new letter, USPS chief acknowledges 'unintended consequences' of recent policy changes", "Trump says he is refusing additional post office funding as part of his fight against mail-in voting", "Postmaster general announces he is 'suspending' policies that were blamed for causing mail delays", "Susan Collins Engineered the USPS Disaster She's Now Protesting", "Casey: The most insane law by Congress, ever? Postal Service is now looking to shake the restrictions that have prevented it from moving forward with a number of controversial reforms that led to slower mail delivery. They also enjoined USPS from slashing overtime. The tables below indicate the … By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Yes, Government Executive can email me on behalf of carefully selected companies and organizations. "[20], Mail collection boxes were removed from the streets in many cities. [5][6], On August 18, 2020, under heavy political and legal pressure, DeJoy announced that he would be "suspending" the policy changes until after the November 2020 election. The cash-strapped agency may soon receive some financial relief, as a bipartisan COVID-19 relief package currently being discussed on Capitol Hill would convert a $10 billion line of credit for USPS to a cash grant. [63] USPS Board of Governors chairman Mike Duncan also agreed to testify at the House hearing. [93], In December 2020, a combination of the cost-cutting measures instituted by Postmaster General Louis Dejoy and increased holiday season shipping volume resulted in widespread package shipping delays and "buckling" of the Postal system. [52] Trump later defended the changes being made by DeJoy, saying that DeJoy wanted to "make the Post Office great again", a reference to Trump's own political slogan, "Make America Great Again". One lawsuit is being led by Washington state, joined by Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin; a second is being led by Pennsylvania, joined by California, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, and North Carolina. [85], Despite DeJoy's announcement that he would be suspending the operational changes until after the election, Pelosi stated that she did not trust DeJoy, and called the suspension "a necessary but insufficient step in ending the president’s election sabotage campaign. The "Blue Shift" in California Elections", "Postal Service chief denies slowing down election mail to assist Trump", "Trump met with Postmaster General amid mail-in voting attacks", "Postmaster general agrees to testify before Senate, House lawmakers amid mail-in voting firestorm", "The Post Office's Great Mail Slowdown Is Hurting Small Businesses", "Mail delays hurting local small business owners", "Baltimore-area plagued by slow, missing mail", "As USPS delays hit veterans' mail-order prescriptions, VA works to mitigate medication waits", "Lawmakers: Postal changes delay mail-order medicine for vets", "Chicks shipped by mail are arriving dead, costing Maine farmers thousands of dollars", "Chicks, cockroaches, crickets and frogs: How mail delays are affecting the live animal trade", Postal Service workers quietly resist DeJoy's changes with eye on election, "Don't reconnect mailing machines, Postal Service tells plants. [47][48], Starting in April 2020, President Donald Trump began to speak out against voting by mail, claiming without evidence[49] that it is subject to massive fraud, and threatening to take steps to prevent states from sending absentee ballots to voters. The strike doesn’t affect the U.S. parcel business, which generates about 60% of revenue. 17 April 2020 Thousands of mail carriers, sorters, and clerks who work for the United States Postal Service (USPS) are at risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19 due to the dangerous … [68] A letter to DeJoy from 31 U.S. senators asked him to reassess the effect of his changes on veterans. [58] Public polling indicates that more Democrats plan to vote by mail in the elections than Republicans, possibly due to Trump's false claims of vote by mail being riddled with fraud. DeJoy has not specifically suggested whether he plans to resume that test initiative. [17], Hundreds of high-speed mail sorting machines were dismantled and removed from postal facilities,[18] raising concerns that mailed ballots for the November 3 election might not reach election offices on time. [50] Despite his unverified[49] claims of fraud, Trump himself voted by mail in recent elections, as did First Lady Melania Trump and many senior administration officials. [8] This law, the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, was passed during a lame-duck session, and shepherded through the Senate by Senator Susan Collins of Maine. [37][38][39][40], Voting by mail has become an increasingly common practice in the United States. US Postal Service employees weren't involved in the dumping … Read our, Yes, I want to receive occasional updates from partners. Aug. 10, 2020 at 11:16 a.m. ... postal workers in cities across the nation went on strike — an eight-day ordeal that prompted Nixon to order the military to help sort the mail in New York City. By Rick Moran Sep 22, 2020 9:07 AM ET . | WATCH LIVE - YouTube", "Pelosi, Democrats Considering Bringing House Back From Recess Early To Address Mail Crisis", "Pelosi calls House lawmakers back to vote on post office legislation", "Pelosi to Recall House for Postal Service Vote as Democrats Press for DeJoy to Testify", "Montana Republican senators join call: 'Delaying mail service is unacceptable, "GOP Sen. Susan Collins urges U.S. 13 February 2020 Less than 12 weeks after the Communication Workers Union (CWU) refused to act on a 97 percent strike vote by Royal Mail workers, the union has announced a fresh … The customers see it. [42] The coronavirus pandemic of 2020 was anticipated to cause a large increase in mail voting because of the possible danger of congregating at polling places. Postal Service Reinforces Importance of Mailing Packages Early - Newsroom - About.usps.com", "Postal workers are falsifying data, records show. Larry Clark delivers the mail in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on Friday, April 10, 2020. [60] Longtime Republican elections lawyer and former Federal Election Commission chairman Trevor Potter stated that under such a scenario, Trump could build up a lead among ballots cast on Election Day, claim victory, and then say, "stop counting ballots because all those absentee ballots are illegitimate. 7 April 2020 Like workers at the retail giant Amazon and across the logistics industry, drivers and warehouse workers for United Parcel Services (UPS) report dangerous workplace … [36], On November 4, 2020, federal judge Emmet G. Sullivan ordered DeJoy to ″sweep″ USPS facilities for undelivered mail-in ballots, and to immediately deliver any they find. We just have to look at the deeds and the deeds thus far is the new Postmaster General has instituted a number of policies that are truly slowing down mail. The analysis predicted that 80 million ballots could be cast by mail in 2020, more than double the number in 2016. Even though the election has passed, many of the obligations the Postal Service incurred by judicial fiat remain in place. [89], On August 22, 2020, the House passed a bill approving $25 billion in emergency funding for the USPS that would reverse DeJoy's changes and ban mail delays before the election. Postal Service Changes", "Election mail will be delivered 'fully and on time,' DeJoy vows", "Rosen Transcript After Questioning Postmaster General in Highly-Anticipated HSGAC Hearing", "House passes $25B in 'emergency' Postal Service funding, White House threatens veto", "Prohibits Changes to Postal Service... - H.R.8015: To maintain prompt and reliable postal services...", "The U.S. House Just Passed a $25 Billion Bill to Fund the Post Office", "Congresswoman denied access to Florida postal facilities", https://slate.com/business/2020/12/postal-service-delays-problems-holidays-covid.html, "Huge backlog at U.S. Post Office means millions of holiday packages might not arrive by Christmas", "Packages pile up at Pa. postal facilities: 'You're not gonna get your Christmas presents, https://www.baltimoresun.com/maryland/bs-md-ci-usps-mail-delays-baltimore-holidays-coronavirus-20201219-7cp54xw2mfgvzbfbyyou5eywu4-story.html, "Millions of Christmas presents may arrive late because of Postal Service delays", "Postal employees report backlogs across the country amid holiday shipping", https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/12/15/postal-service-holiday-packages-delays/, "Families Say Their Holiday Packages Are Lost In Limbo And USPS Told Them They Can't Help Now", "Amid Historic Volumes in an Extraordinary Year for Deliveries, the U.S. [73] In multiple states, postal workers and union leaders reported that the changes resulted in low worker morale. "[32], A number of individuals, including candidates for public office, have filed lawsuits in federal court against the Postal Service, DeJoy and Trump in response to the crisis, and many more are expected. The sold-out dinner … Share . Under judges’ orders, USPS has continued to provide data to federal courts on late and extra trips, mail delays and ballot delivery (a special election for Georgia’s two Senate seats is currently underway, with final in-person voting occurring on Jan. 5). Mail is getting backed up. 2020 election: Vote by mail works, despite what Donald Trump says The postmaster general is trying to place the postal workforce hors de combat in our war against the pandemic. [79][80] She proposed an early vote on a bill to roll back the changes introduced by DeJoy, which Democrats have described as "a grave threat to the integrity of the election. [15] DeJoy also reorganized USPS leadership and staffing. A huge backlog of almost 50 million letters was being cleared today after postal workers accepted a deal to end a dispute which sparked wildcat strikes across the country. October 13, 2020 Great Postal Strike 50th anniversary dinner update. With the election behind it, the U.S. Eric … The crisis stems primarily from changes implemented Postmaster General Louis DeJoy shortly after taking office in June 2020. [1][2][4], There is controversy and speculation about whether the delays are unintended consequences of restructuring operations, or if they were intentionally created for political and/or financial gain. The contentious relationship between the federal government and the postal service goes back to the U.S. postal strike of 1970, Rubio says. With letter carriers and other postal … The eight-day strike of some 150,000 letter carriers in 30 cities took the nation by surprise, but for many in the U.S. NALC has postponed the Great Postal Strike 50 th anniversary dinner until it is safe to hold the event. "[24], On August 21, 2020, DeJoy testified before the U.S. Senate that he votes by mail. The share of voters nationwide who submit their ballots by mail has grown from about 8 percent in 1996 to about 21 percent in 2016. © 2021 by Government Media Executive Group LLC. [94] USPS facilities became overwhelmed with packages: A supervisor at an Indianapolis distribution center reported that for the sake of expediency, workers were "just throwing [packages] in the trucks without scanning them" into the system;[95] in Allentown, Pennsylvania, mail pieces sat in the parking lot because there was no room to unload them, and a clerk in Philadelphia told the Philadelphia Inquirer, "Don’t be using the post office right now, because we can’t deliver the mail". [27], Federal law prohibits any employee of the Postal Service from delaying mail. [29][30], Several state attorneys general are also beginning investigations to determine if DeJoy violated state election laws[31] and are coordinating their efforts. USPS headquarters officials repeatedly argued in court the postmaster general’s initiatives only led to mail delays because front-line workers misinterpreted their directives, though the employees themselves pushed back on that narrative. [76][77][78], On August 16, 2020, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi ended a recess of the House of Representatives that had been scheduled to last until the week of September 14, calling lawmakers back to Washington to address the crisis. The crisis stems primarily from changes implemented Postmaster General Louis DeJoy shortly after taking office in June 2020. AP Photo/David Banks. [23], Questions have been raised by observers and journalists about a possible conflict of interest involving DeJoy's connections to XPO Logistics. He's never seen it like this. Combined with a postal worker strike in March of 1970, led to the Postal Reorganization Act and established the United States Postal Service as we know it today. The company received $14 million in contracts in ten weeks between June and September 2020. The operational changes had led to widespread mail delays, which continued through the election despite largely successful efforts to expedite ballot delivery. [69], Maine farmers reported that thousands of baby chicks had died in the mail after delays at the processing center in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts. USPS General Counsel Thomas Marshall declined to elaborate on the Postal Service’s plans, instead simply suggesting the original injunctions were erroneously awarded. While DeJoy said USPS would quickly be able to recover from the setback and resume meeting its on-time delivery goals, the Postal Service never fully recovered from its performance dip. The department was renamed the U.S. Chicago Postal Workers Threaten Strike After Several Mail Carriers Shot. Government Executive uses cookies for analytics and personalization. [32] As of August 18, 2020, attorneys general from at least twenty states have filed federal lawsuits against the USPS and DeJoy. Workers say it's to boost on-time delivery statistics", Board of Governors of the United States Postal Service, National Alliance of Postal and Federal Employees, National Rural Letter Carriers' Association, United States Postal Service Office of Inspector General, Postage stamps and postal history of the United States, USPS Post Office Box Lobby Recycling program, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=2020_United_States_Postal_Service_crisis&oldid=1000731481, Controversies of the 2020 United States presidential election, Political corruption scandals in the United States, All Wikipedia articles written in American English, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 16 January 2021, at 12:31. Postal Service to 'promptly address' delivery delays", "DeJoy agrees to testify amid Dem fury over Postal Service changes", "Postal Service will prioritize ballots over other mail, postmaster general testifies", "WATCH: Postmaster General DeJoy Testifies on U.S. In each case, judges issued injunctions on the Postal Service blocking DeJoy’s efforts, which caused widespread pushback in the run up to the November election. [61], Trump met with DeJoy at the White House on August 3, but when initially asked on August 9, Trump denied that he had spoken to DeJoy. [9] According to Tom Davis (the bill's sponsor), the Bush administration threatened to veto the legislation unless they added the provision regarding funding the employee benefits in advance with the objective of using that money to reduce the federal deficit. Postal workers were tired of barely seeing a living … JUST WATCHED Video shows USPS mail being dumped in parking lot. [54], Contrary to Trump's stated belief that vote by mail harms Republicans,[55] there is no evidence that it benefits one party or the other, and both parties have incorporated it into their get-out-the-vote strategies for years. [1], The USPS has had a history of budget deficits dating back to a 2006 law requiring it to prepay retiree health benefits 75 years in advance, a provision to which no other government agency or private corporation is subject. The National Association of Letter Carriers filed a national grievance over the program, saying management should have negotiated over its implementation. USPS has so far appealed injunctions issued in Washington, D.C., Washington state and Pennsylvania. Postal … [89][87] He said he was unable to do so. [53] Former U.S. president Barack Obama accused Trump of deliberately "kneecapping" the Postal Service in order to discourage people from voting. Tacoma does it anyway", Postmaster general's actions 'truly slowing down' mail delivery, says head of postal workers union, "Protesters gather at Postal Service boss' home amid concerns over mailed ballots delays", "Demonstrators plan a second protest at the postmaster general's home", "Protesters gather outside Greensboro home of USPS Postmaster General Louis Dejoy. The dispute between workers and the firm is over job security and terms … [65], Individuals are also reporting serious economic problems due to delayed or missing mail: not receiving checks or important papers that they are expecting, or having their bill payments arrive at the company late so that they get charged a penalty. [21] After photos of boxes being removed were spread on social media, a Postal Service spokesman said they were being moved to higher-traffic areas but that the removals would stop until after the election. However, the Postal Service has been removing mail collection boxes as a cost-cutting measure for years — between 1985 and 2011, the number of mail collection boxes was reduced by 60% — so it remains unclear if the removals are connected to DeJoy's changes. [41] Members of the military, their families, and military contractors are able to vote by mail if they are not currently stationed in their permanent home location; more than 600,000 such ballots were cast in the 2016 election. Royal Mail is facing its first national postal strike in a decade after staff voted overwhelmingly for action. DeJoy cautioned before the election—and has reiterated since—he only intended a pause on some reform efforts he issued prior to the court orders to be temporary, with more dramatic changes still slated for 2021 and beyond. 08/13/2020 06:34 PM EDT ... after President Nixon’s tough-love treatment of postal workers led to a wildcat strike among letter carriers, public opinion quickly swayed in against the …

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