USPS Head Louis DeJoy Slammed for "Fanatical Devotion to Price Hikes"
The Postmaster General remains in hot water with workers and customers amid USPS changes.
Postmaster General Louis DeJoy's Delivering for America (DFA) plan remains a contentious topic among frustrated U.S. Postal Service (USPS) workers, longtime customers, and union officials. It's been nearly three years since DeJoy first announced the grand initiative with the aim of rebuilding the Postal Service "from an organization in financial and operational crisis to one that is self-sustaining and high performing." But despite improvements like the rollout of safer mailboxes and the promise of better delivery vehicles, DeJoy has yet to win over many of his critics.
During his short tenure as Postmaster General, DeJoy has been met with harsh pushback, with some claiming that the USPS head is doing more harm than good for the Postal Service and its customers. Two of the biggest issues raised by the public have been related to the uptick in postal costs and the exodus of long-time carriers due to cut hours and restructured compensation plans.
Naysayers have been on the heels of DeJoy since he was first appointed in 2020. However, friction between DeJoy and the public recently escalated when it was revealed that the Board was banning non-members from attending the most recent USPS meeting.
Historically, the Board would dedicate an hour during quarterly meetings to in-person and virtual public testimony, but that has since been amended to occur only once per year, according to Common Defense. This sparked serious outrage among people desperate to have their voices heard.
On Feb. 8, picketers rallied outside the congressional hearing in Washington, D.C., where the USPS Board of Governors was gathering to further discuss "the agency's austerity plan." Many protesters came armed with posters taking direct aim at DeJoy and his DFA plan.
"We won't be silenced!" proclaimed signs held by protesters, per Common Defense.
Meanwhile, others demanded the right to speak their mind.
"Let us tell the truth about DeJoy's 10-year plan," signs also read.
The Board's decision to remove public testimonies from nearly all USPS meetings comes on the heels of Revolving Door Project senior researcher Vishal Shankar's decree that citizens are "fed up with DeJoy's mismanagement of USPS," and his "fanatical devotion to price hikes" in particular.
So far under DeJoy's leadership, we've seen five price hikes. The most recent included a "2-cent increase in the price of a First-Class Mail Forever stamp, from 66 cents to 68 cents," per an Oct. 6 press release.
Furthermore, DeJoy has faced backlash for abruptly reducing post office hours countrywide, making it increasingly difficult for workers to get overtime pay, and cutting air transportation of mail. He's also faced pushback from both Republican and Democratic officials over his plans to consolidate postal locations.
"Thousands of postal jobs will be eliminated, and tens of thousands of employees will be faced with relocating to a new job, possibly a couple of hundred miles away, or ending their careers at the Postal Service," Steve Hutkins, a retired NYU English professor and the founder of the advocacy group and website Save the Post Office, told The Guardian.
During the Feb. 8 meeting, DeJoy reiterated that the USPS is dedicated to improving its financial means.
"Revamping our network facilities while trying to reduce cost and grow revenue is the challenge the United States Postal Service faces today and for several years in the future," he said. "We are in race to a finish line that changes our financial and service trajectory before we run out of cash and require other means of funding."