Postal Police union sues USPS management over order

Employee unions that represents postal employees have complained, grieved, sued and otherwise opposed the U.S. Postal Service's management over several controversial—and lawbreaking—actions initiated in recent months by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and his leadership team.

This week adds a new wrinkle. On top of the well-publicized pushback against DeJoy’s slowing of employee overtime and speeding removal of sorting machines—actions the now-besieged postmaster general ordered reversed—he and his deputies now face resistance to other controversial orders.

The latest: The Postal Police Officers Association this week sued for an injunction to reverse at least one such recent policy. PPOA complains in a Sept. 14 legal filing that, on Aug. 25, USPS management issued a standing order for Postal Police to stop “all mail-protection and other law enforcement activity”—except on the massive delivery organization’s own property.

In effect, the union says, this order stood down the organization—and was tantamount to asking dedicated law enforcement personnel to stop enforcing laws. Postal Police suddenly were to refrain from investigating all but a few incidents of mail theft, mail tampering, as well as crimes against postal personnel.

The association’s complaint notes that the order runs counter to what until now had been an expanding, not shrinking, role. For the last decade-and-a-half, the agency has been front and center in enforcement activities off postal property.

“Congress amended the jurisdictional authority of Postal Police Officers in 2006,” the PPOA wrote in its complaint. “Since that time, the Postal Service has increasingly used Postal Police Officers to investigate and prevent theft of U.S. mail and to protect USPS employees as they work in public.”

“The Postal Service’s sudden change is unwarranted, impermissible, and contrary to the language of the statute and also to collective bargaining promises it has made to the officers’ union,” the complaint states. It was filed in the D.C. federal District Court.

2021 Digital Almanac

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