President Dimondstein Testifies before House Committee and Congressional Progressive Caucus

September 16, 2020

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(This article first appeared in the September/October 2020 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine)

President Mark Dimondstein testified at two hearings conducted by the U.S. Congress, before the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) on Aug. 20 and the House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security on Aug. 28. At the hearings, he called for the passage of $25 billion in urgent COVIDrelated funding for the Postal Service, and opposed the White House’s agenda to degrade service and sell the USPS off to privatizers. President Dimondstein also forcefully pushed back against any doubts that voting by mail is safe and effective, or that postal workers would be able to handle the increase in ballots.

“The Postal Service projects that it will suffer $50 billion in lost revenue over the next ten years due to COVID-19 and will likely face a cash shortfall as soon as March of next year,” President Dimondstein said to the CPC. “Simply put, because the USPS normally runs its operations with zero tax dollars, the pandemic related lost revenue places the continuity of postal essential services at serious risk.

“We have worked, along with many others, to secure a minimum of $25 billion in emergency COVID-19 relief, a bipartisan, unanimous request of the Postal Board of Governors,” he continued.

“We face a president that calls us ‘a joke,’ rails against the tried and true practice of voting by mail, and thus far stands in the way of COVID-19 financial relief while corporations received $500 billion plus in the CARES Act stimulus package,” President Dimondstein continued. “Our members come from all walks of life and political persuasions. But we are united in rejecting these attacks.” “The increase of mail ballots expected can be easily handled, even if all 150 million voters in the country receive and return their ballot by mail,” President Dimondstein said to the Homeland Security Committee.

“On a daily basis, postal workers collect, sort and deliver nearly 500 million pieces of mail. During a typical holiday season, we handle as many as 3 billion cards and letters in a week.

“Five states conduct their elections entirely by mail. Since 2000, more than 250 million votes have been cast by mail. In Oregon’s 19 years conducting all-mail elections, more than 100 million votes have been cast with only 15 cases of voter fraud, less than one per year,” President Dimondstein continued.

“Claims that vote-by-mail is rife with fraud are not only simply false, they’re also an offense to the postal workers who take our oath of office and our commitment to preserve the sanctity of the mail seriously.”

Former Postal Board of Governors Vice Chairman David Williams Exposes BOG's Unorthodox Selection of Louis DeJoy

Former USPS Board of Governors Vice Chairman David Williams and Inspector General of the USPS also testified to the Congressional Progressive Caucus on August 20, describing the White House’s attempts to turn the Postal Service into a political tool, and explaining his reasoning for resigning from the Board.

Williams described Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s efforts to leverage the Treasury Department’s line of credit to the USPS into more political power. “The Secretary was keenly interested in labor agreements, postage pricing generally and especially the volume discounts being given to the Postal Service’s largest customers: Amazon, UPS and FedEx. The Postal Service replied to early demands from the Secretary explaining that his demands were illegal, but the concerns were ignored,” Williams testified.

Williams spoke about his feeling that DeJoy “did not strike [him] as a serious candidate,” during the interview process.

“I resigned from the Board of Governors because I was convinced that its independent role had been marginalized, and that representations regarding an independent postal service for the nation were no longer truthful,” Williams concluded.

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