A shakeup of the U.S. Postal Service is leading to mail delays, union officials said on Tuesday, heightening concerns that an ally of President Donald Trump is destabilizing the service as millions of Americans consider whether to cast their ballots by mail in the Nov. 3 presidential election.
New Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, who has donated $2.7 million to Trump and his fellow Republicans since 2017, has ordered operational changes and a clampdown on overtime in a bid to fix the financially troubled service, which reported a net loss of $2.2 billion in the last quarter.
The reorganization, introduced in July, has resulted in thousands of delayed letters in southern Maine, as delivery drivers follow a new directive to leave on time, even if the mail has not been loaded, said Scott Adams, who represents about 550 workers as the president of American Postal Worker Union Local 458.
Another new directive requires mail carriers to head out on their routes immediately in the morning, carrying only packages and letters that were sorted the night before, according to an internal memo seen by Reuters. That is requiring some carriers to double back to pick up a second batch later in the day, said Kimberly Karol, president of the Iowa Postal Workers Union.
“It is on the ground costing more in manpower and man-hours than it is saving,” Karol said. [Continue reading…]