WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand visited Watertown Monday morning to call on the postmaster general to reverse recent changes to the U.S. Postal Service.
Gillibrand was at the Watertown Post Office at 10 a.m. along with members of the American Postal Workers Union and the National Association of Letter Carriers.
She and union members talked about operational issues and called on Postmaster General Louis DeJoy “to reverse harmful changes to operations.”
“Postmaster General DeJoy’s ill-conceived changes are threatening the delivery of medicine during a health crisis, checks during an economic crisis, and ballots during an election, largely conducted by mail,” said Gillibrand (D. - NY).
President of APWU Local 257 Nicole Burnett says those policies include the dismantling of mail processing equipment.
It’s something Burnett says has happened at the Syracuse distribution and sorting facility.
“Those machines were dismantled within days and thrown in the dumpster. They are not coming back, they cannot be put back online,” she said.
Thousand Islands Region NALC Steward Dale Bresette says that Syracuse facility processes mail for the north country and removing machines means the ones left in operation have more mail to handle.
“”With the same amount of time, they’re expected to do twice the amount of work, which never works out and, unfortunately, then you have mail that once you get to your cut-off point, has to sit and wait until the next time,” he said.
Gillibrand says the Postmaster General halting these policies isn’t enough; he needs to reverse them and he needs to step aside.
“I think Postmaster DeJoy should resign and let someone who’s competent and capable to do the job,” she said.
Both Gillibrand and Burnett say they think policies slowing down the mail have been made intentionally because of the upcoming election.
Gillibrand also says she’s pushing for more federal funding to the USPS and wants at least $25 billion for the organization in the next relief package.