“Most people don’t want the overtime,” explained Chris Czubakowski, a clerk and union official in the Milwaukee area. But he acknowledged that overtime had become critical for the Postal Service to provide its services. “You already have understaffed operations for a decade, where they’ve been cutting jobs and not hiring,” he said.
Mr. DeJoy’s determination to press ahead with the removal of some mail sorting machines an initiative that began before he took office, was also condemned by employees and union officials. The Postal Service has maintained that it needs fewer machines because of the reduced volume of mail it is handling.
Among other concerns, Scott Hoffman, president of the American Postal Workers Union chapter in the Boston metro area, said the elimination of union jobs would be “inevitable,” after the agency destroyed some of the mail sorting machines it removed. He worried that the administration was planning to privatize the Postal Service, rendering it “at the mercy of the corporations.”
In August, Mr. DeJoy promised to delay several planned changes until after the election. For the time being, mail processing equipment and blue collection boxes would stay in place, and overtime would continue to be approved as needed. A pilot program that expedited the departure of carriers to their routes was eliminated.
But Mr. DeJoy has not specified what changes he plans to eventually carry out. Mr. Partenheimer, the spokesman, said details would be provided “at the appropriate time after the election.”
The on-again, off-again policy shifts have prompted confusion among some employees. Mr. Elbaum, the postal worker in Florida, described Mr. DeJoy’s agenda as “a lot of smoke and mirrors,” unlike anything he has seen during his 32 years at the agency. He questioned whether Mr. DeJoy’s new policies would ultimately come back to haunt the agency — and Mr. Trump.
“Politicizing the mail, delaying it for reasons — I can’t even — what is that going to prove?” he asked. “Who’s going to benefit from that? His friend Donald Trump? I don’t see how.”