USPS board names new postmaster general, unions skeptical

The Board of Governors of the United States Postal Service announced its unanimous selection of Louis DeJoy as organization’s 75th postmaster general and CEO, but are concerned the choice was political.

The Board of Governors of the United States Postal Service announced its unanimous selection of Louis DeJoy as organization’s 75th postmaster general and CEO. He has more than 35 years of experience in supply chain logistics, program management and transportation support. He is expected to begin serving in his new role June 15.

DeJoy, who is currently in charge of fundraising for the Republican National Convention in Charlotte, will be the first postmaster general in 20 years who has not come up through the agency’s ranks. Since January, he has donated over $360,000 to the President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign and about $70,000 to the Republican National Committee, according to campaign finance data from the Federal Elections Commission.

"In this extraordinary time of the pandemic crisis, reliable, affordable and universal postal services are needed more than ever," Mark Dimondstein, president of the American Postal Workers Union, said in a statement. 

"The APWU is deeply concerned with the appointment process to make Mr. Louis DeJoy, a multi-million-dollar major donor to President Trump, the next Postmaster General and whether the Administration has returned to the days of political interference and patronage," he said. 

The National Association of Letter Carriers President Fredric Rolando applauded the Board of Governors for pressing Congress to provide billions to shore up the USPS, especially during the COVID-19 crisis. However, the NALC head also hinted at concerns about DeJoy. 

"Keeping politics out of the Postal Service and maintaining its independence is central to its success -- this is one of the reasons that 90 percent of all Americans, from both parties and from rural and urban areas alike, support the USPS," he said.

Another major postal union, the National Postal Mail Handlers Union, echoed its fellow organizations. 

"The question presented ... is whether Postmaster General DeJoy will use his obvious experience in postal logistics to preserve and grow the Postal Service as a unique and thriving public institution," Paul Hogrogian, NPMHU's president, said. "Or whether the new [postmaster general] will seek to use his position and authority to try to implement the misguided goals of the Trump Administration that are aimed at privatizing and ultimately destroying the Postal Service," he said.

As the Postal Service struggles during with pandemic with the drop-off of first-class mail, it received a $10 billion loan as part of the CARES Act. USPS’ current chief Megan Brennan suggested the organization could take a $13 billion revenue hit in 2020, and the board requested $75 billion in federal support in the next pandemic relief bill.

DeJoy’s appointment comes upon the retirement of Brennan, who announced her intent to step down in October 2019.

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