Posts Tagged ‘Louis DeJoy’
Tuesday, May 19th, 2020
Here’s what the Trump administration has done behind the headlines to gain control over the US Postal Service. The Postal Service Board of Governors has oversight powers for USPS, operating like a Board of Trustees in a corporation. Board membership depends on U.S. Senate nominations (solely Republican determined) and presidential appointments. The Board is currently essentially all Trump appointed.
Recently, Trump has blasted the USPS as “a joke.” The Republicans have long wanted to privatize it so that over 630,000 unionized workers can be compelled to work for pennies on the dollar as non-union rentals. Trump’s only interest seems to be his petty war with Jeff Bezos. The Bezos-owned Washington Post has reporters with eyes wide open writing stories about Trump’s corruption. The Amazon-owning Bezos pays the USPS to carry millions of Amazon boxes the “last mile” for mere pennies per package. The Postal Regulatory Commission establishes shipping rates. Packages make up only about 30% of USPS business.
The USPS is losing money like all businesses, though they have to operate at a distinct disadvantage with the requirement to pay retirement funds in advance for workers not yet born! Now comes the U.S. Treasury dangling a small $10 billion loan as part of the $2 trillion CARES Act). Trump conditioned the loan on the raising of package and shipping rates by 4 times (to get back at Amazon). Note Trump’s reliance upon quid pro quo (again, can you remember Impeachment?). And Treasury demanded managerial control over the USPS in exchange for funding the loan.
Under Postmaster General Megan Brennan, the USPS asked Congress for $75 billion in emergency funding. As a quasi-governmental agency, the USPS does not receive routine funding from Congress.
Vice-chair of the Board, David Williams, a former Inspector General for the USPS, Social Security Administration, Treasury, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission before Trump came to office, resisted the takeover attempts by Treasury and resigned on April 30 in protest.
The vacancy allowed the Board to name a new Postmaster General, Louis DeJoy, replacing Megan Brennan who served since 2015, an Obama appointee. DeJoy donated $1.2 million to Trump’s campaign and millions to the Republican National Committee. He is overseeing fundraising for the Republican National Convention.
“Postal workers are the heart and soul of this institution, and I will be honored to work alongside them and their unions,” DeJoy said in a formal statement. However his record at the firm he founded and led tells a different story. According to David Dayen at the American Prospect, several women workers had miscarriages on the job, after being ignored in their requests to lighten their duties, which included lifting heavy boxes. In one case (when DeJoy was on the board, but not CEO), a woman died on the warehouse floor and workers were instructed to work around her for the rest of the shift.
Two days after DeJoy was named, on May 13, 40-year USPS veteran Ronald Stroman, Deputy Postmaster General, resigned.
The foxes are firmly entrenched in the hen house now. Pray for the survival of the USPS.
Perhaps issue a new stamp to fundraise. We can lick them all!
The Democratic-led House passed $25 billion support package for the Postal Service. Next, it goes to Mitch’s side where the grim reaper and do-nothing Republican Senators await. Let’s see what happens.