November 28, 2021

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Biden can save the U.S. Postal Service next by picking a new board chairman who will fire DeJoy

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Bloom has been cycling in and out of government and corporate restructuring jobs for decades. In his latest gig at Lazard, the Revolving Door Project notes that the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) was among his clients. The big postal union “hired Bloom to explore solutions to USPS’s solvency issues. Although celebrated by NALC as a ‘reality check’ for broadly opposing service cuts and encouraging expansion of services, the final report issued by Bloom’s Lazard group also left the door open to ‘greater flexibility to pricing of products’ (read: unpopular price hikes) and private-sector contract partnerships in logistics and freight forwarding services (which postal unions have  long opposed as a form of privatization).”

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Those private-sector contracts are precisely what DeJoy has been pushing (along with the rate hikes, mail slow downs, and fewer hours of operation for post offices) and have raised serious questions about conflicts of interest for him, since he maintains financial ties to his former logistics and freight company which has a new contract with the USPS. It’s a match made in heaven, him and Bloom.

It’s a match that the rank-and-file postal workers of the USPS have a problem with, even though leadership is still backing him. The American Postal Workers Union (APWU), National Association of Postal Mail Handlers Union (NPMHU), National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC), and the National Rural Letter Carriers Association (NRLCA) are focused on trying to get the Postal Service Reform Act of 2021 passed. It’s a critical piece of legislation for the USPS that would free it from the financial shackle of having to pre-fund 75 years of retiree health care and pension payments—$120 billion worth. It’s the only government agency operating under that restriction. Getting that law enacted is a goal for the letter carriers and postal workers, too. But, they argue, it won’t make much difference if the whole institution is dismantled by DeJoy and team.

“It is my fervent belief that if we do not stop the destructive policies that are being implemented in the Postal Service, that we’re not gonna have a Postal Service to negotiate with for a contract—or a need for any kind of legislative relief,” Iowa Postal Workers Union President Kimberly Karol told DC Report. “These policies are so bad and so detrimental to the future of the Postal Service, that I think it is very important that we get the public informed and speak out, and get DeJoy and Bloom replaced for advocating for these very destructive policies.”

At least one senator, Wisconsin Democrat Tammy Baldwin, is on record telling Biden to replace Bloom, and after him, Dejoy. “Our Postal Service is, by law, a fundamental service provided to the people by our government, authorized by the Constitution, created by an Act of Congress, and supported by the people. I don’t believe that Postmaster General DeJoy understands who he works for— the American people,” Baldwin said in a statement last week. “I wanted to see him go last year when he ordered changes that led to delayed mail for Wisconsin families, seniors, veterans, and businesses and I oppose Ron Bloom’s nomination to a new term because I would like to see a new Postal Board of Governors show DeJoy the door and bring on a new Postmaster General.”

There’s a whole raft of public interests groups—77 of them in total—who agree. In a letter sent to Biden last month, the group urged him not to “reward this failed leadership with a new term.”

“Instead, please take this opportunity to correct the course of the Postal Service’s future by moving expeditiously to nominate a replacement for Mr. Bloom who will be forward-looking and more representative of the postal workforce, and will not rubber-stamp the disastrous policies of Mr. DeJoy,” they wrote.

These two have to go. They’re not just destroying the oldest and most beloved public institution in the nation, they’re doing it for personal profit and not even pretending to hide that fact! They should have been fired months ago for the gross mismanagement of the USPS, if not for the stench of corruption surrounding them. Here’s Biden’s chance, and it’s easy. Just pick someone new for the board. Someone who’s not a crook.



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