Postal Workers and Customers Call on President Biden and Congress to Fill Four Vacancies on the USPS’ Board of Governors, Enact Pending Postal Reform Legislation

Postal Workers and Customers Call on President Biden and Congress to Fill Four Vacancies on the USPS’ Board of Governors, Enact Pending Postal Reform Legislation

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Contact: Jamie Horwitz,, 202-549-4921

Signed by 400,000 Americans, a petition presented today to the Biden-Harris administration and Senate leaders urges swift action on vacancies.

APWU President Mark Dimondstein to testify before Congress tomorrow, Wed., Feb. 24, on measures to support the financially struggling U.S. Postal Service.

WASHINGTON – The American Postal Workers Union and allies who support a strong, public United States Postal Service today presented a petition signed by 400,000 Americans which calls on the Biden-Harris Administration and Senate leaders to “swiftly fill” the four vacant positions on the nine-member, USPS Board of Governors.

All of the current board members are Trump appointees; all are men; most have deep ties to Wall Street and corporate interests; and not one has had direct experience with the USPS prior to joining the board. The postmaster general and the deputy postmaster general also serve on the board. Current Postmaster General Louis DeJoy was new to the agency in June 2020 and has no prior career experience within the USPS. The deputy postmaster general position has remained vacant since the former deputy retired just prior to DeJoy’s arrival.

“We need a strong board that reflects the will of the people,” said APWU President Mark Dimondstein. “We need leaders who will support prompt, reliable and efficient service, and public servants who understand that this is the United States Postal ‘Service’ and not the United States Postal ‘Business.’”

Dimondstein will testify Feb. 24 before the House Oversight and Reform Committee in a hearing that will examine possible legislative fixes to the USPS’ financial problems and delivery issues. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) chairs the committee and Rep. James Comer (R-KY) is the ranking member. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and Ron Bloom, the chairman of the U.S. Postal Board of Governors, also are scheduled to testify Wednesday. USPS Inspector General Tammy Whitcomb, Joel Quadracci of QuadGraphics, and AEI’s Kevin Kosar will testify as well.

“The USPS is a national treasure. The severe delays affecting the country’s critical  postal services are unacceptable,” Dimondstein said. “This must be fixed and we have a rare window of opportunity now to make the necessary changes.”

Last year at the start of the pandemic, the Pew Research Center found that 91 percent of Americans had a favorable opinion of the USPS, the highest rating of any federal department or agency. During the pandemic, postal workers have further demonstrated to the public that the USPS is an essential service that “binds the nation together” by accepting, sorting, transporting and delivering mail, parcels, and medicine to 161 million addresses daily. In 2020, USPS also delivered a record 65 million ballots for the November election.

But impatience with postal delays is growing despite the postal service’s critical role and strong public and bipartisan support. Mail and parcel deliveries slowed over the summer due to policy changes in transportation and staffing ordered by management. Those policy changes were later reversed.

The pandemic has led to fewer planes flying, forcing a greater reliance on slower ground transportation.

COVID-19 has taken a toll with more than 20,000 postal workers quarantined on some days.  

A surge in e-commerce and parcel deliveries during the pandemic and especially during the holidays, when volumes grew by 25 percent to 1.1 billion packages, added pressure to an already understaffed and overburdened public service.

In a positive development, the USPS’ management and unions have agreed to hire 11,000, full-time postal workers who are sorely needed to staff sorting facilities.

In another encouraging move, legislation was recently introduced in Congress that would eliminate the “prefunding” mandate that forces the USPS to pay billions of dollars every year to prefund retiree health benefits 75 years into the future. This unnecessary financial burden, levied only on the postal service, is responsible for 84 percent of the USPS’ structural deficit.  APWU also is lobbying Congress to provide the USPS with additional Covid-related financial relief.

In sharp contrast to President Trump, who called the USPS “a joke” and whose administration proposed ending the universal service requirement and selling off the USPS, the Biden administration has expressed a commitment to a public postal service. Recently, the administration has called for replacing the aging fleet of postal delivery trucks with electric vehicles that would save on fuel costs and provide greater capacity to carry parcels.

“The USPS should have a bright future. No institution is better situated for the expected growth in e-commerce,” Dimondstein said.  “Post office facilities also are perfectly spaced for inclusion in a proposed national network of public charging-stations for electric vehicles.”

APWU has advocated for new products that could help the public and at the same time generate revenue such as paycheck cashing, offering wire transfers and other financial services.

“A Board of Governors unafraid of innovation can make these changes happen,”  Dimondstein said. “Our union is united with the public in rejecting calls for shrinking our way to success by slowing mail, lowering standards of mail delivery, closing post offices and consolidating plants. We’ve been down that road before. It didn’t work.”

The American Postal Workers Union represents more than 200,000 active and retired employees of the U.S. Postal Service. The union is an affiliate of the AFL-CIO.