“They are destroying the Postal Service”: USPS workers speak out on restructuring program, wage cuts, electronic monitoring

An article published Monday in the WSWS on the US Postal Service, including ongoing talks for the city letter carriers’ contract and management’s radical restructuring program called Delivering for America, has gotten a widespread readership among postal workers. Dozens of workers have submitted comments to the World Socialist Web Site detailing their work experiences and their thoughts on the state of the USPS in general. We are reproducing a selection of these below.

If you work at USPS, join the conversation! Tell us your thoughts by filling out the form below. All submissions will be kept anonymous.

USPS Truck [Photo by Flickr, Lisa Brewster / CC BY-SA 4.0]

A rural carrier from Arizona: First, to clarify something the article said: the president doesn’t appoint the Postmaster General, nor can he remove him. Only the governing board can do this.

The Postmaster General, Louis DeJoy, calls his plan ‘Delivering For America.’ In reality, he is destroying the Postal Service. I’ve worked as a rural carrier for more than two decades and I’ve never seen such a mass exodus of highly capable, long term carriers. Some were able to retire as they had the age and time in. Others just decided it wasn’t worth it. I’m trying to stay for my last few years, but it’s difficult. What other company just decided they think you’re making too much money and just takes it out of your pay?!

We can’t keep new hires. They find out how hard the work is and that they sometimes have to do two routes a day sometimes 9 days straight. A certain craft store starts their new hires at the same pay, benefits and have Sundays off…and the work is indoors! No one wants to work at a company whose CEO steals from them, who makes $305k a year PLUS bonuses.

A city carrier from St. Petersburg, Florida: I am a letter carrier. At my office there is no respect. The supervisor does not communicate well enough for carriers to understand what we are supposed to do. They tell us when it’s hot to take air conditioning and hydration stops, but we are getting in trouble for sitting even for a little while. I try to never call off, but working two to three routes a day, it takes a toll on me. I’ve suffered from heat exhaustion several times. I’ve tried speaking with a supervisor to try to move to different departments, but no one seem like they are giving me a truthful answer. So I am deciding to move on from the Post Office.

Another rural carrier from Arizona: They have cut rural carrier’ s pay and asked us to provide the information to them when we dispute our pay. But there are legal documents prepared by the USPS attorneys stating they don’t have the information. How are we to provide information that you haven’t been able to release to us employees or even to the Postal Regulatory Committee? This is illegal and we are being told there are more cuts to come.

A retiree from South Carolina: I was a career employee and mailman for 33-plus years. It’s astounding the number of supervisors that NEVER touched or were even a part of the delivery side of USPS, and yet they talk about how hard they work to justify their 6 figure incomes. When I was working, they had a system that paid supervisors a “supplement” for cutting costs. We had a station manager turn off the hot water to save money. The USPS has wasted millions, if not billions of dollars on this type of incentive. Corporate greed: it’s everywhere.

From central Michigan: I am still amazed that no one brings up the fact that DeJoy is hell-bent on getting a few large contractor trucks off the road, while making carriers drive many little postal trucks that get worse mileage, or pay them a huge price per mile to drive their own vehicles to and from these new centers. I call BS. They tried this before and it didn’t work back then, it won’t work now either.

DeJoy won’t tell the details, because he knows he can be proven wrong before it’s too late. He is already very wrong about his cost/profit plan for this year, because he doesn’t really know what he is doing. Didn’t see it coming, and won’t in the future either. He is too used to telling people to blindly do things in the public sector and then bailing when it doesn’t work.

From Connecticut: Shouldn’t USPS be, at least, on par with the private sector? Take a look at UPS’s new contract … Drivers max out in 5 years vs. 13.5 for the USPS. It used to be honorable to work for the USPS. Now it’s embarrassing. Employees shouldn’t have to look for other jobs, to either replace or supplement the USPS, to make a living.

From southern Louisiana: We need a new union! I work hard like anyone else, yet I make so much lower than other carriers! They’ve taken away our overtime and ability to make good money. The expectations, especially in the heat, are difficult to meet. Every single day is depressing, as management treats us like cattle. This is not a place to make a career like it used to be. And let me not forget: the union does not take care of us! Complaints are ignored and union reps nearly always side with management! Everything the union does is kept in secrecy.

From western Michigan: The USPS took on Amazon for “free,” what, 10 years ago? Meaning, it was thrown onto our routes with no compensation! That is what screwed USPS. This all started well before DeJoy.

The unions have failed us! Management gets bonuses for screwing us! They bring in the most incompetent people to run the offices. The highest-paid routes all were cut according to the scanners. So we are still doing the same work with less pay. Customers come in daily to scream at us, but fail to see where we are working 2 or more hours a day for free. Pure madness!

An active carrier from South Carolina: I left a delivery service to join the USPS, because I heard nothing but good things growing up. However, I’ve been working for USPS for a few years now and my pay has just surpassed my starting wage of my previous employer. Bathrooms don’t work properly. We have 4 toilets for over a hundred men in our office. Yuck.

The cost of living has risen and is continuing to rise. I have heard no talk about giving us proper raises. If anything, whenever raises are brought up, it’s as if no one sees the real issue. UPS just got a raise, well deserved, however we deliver their packages, FedEx packages, Temu packages, Amazon packages, our own USPS packages, over 1,000 stops daily, along with personal documentation at each stop. We have no air conditioning and still yet no raise. They cut hours … [and] our uniforms cost about $120 per full uniform and we only get awarded about $500 per year. That’s not even enough for a full week of uniforms.

It was truly sad to see what I signed up for. Though some stuff, such as an updated scanner, has improved, I’m not sure anything else has. Headquarters wants us to work like dogs for minimal pay and that’s the best way to lose good employees for mediocre ones.

People say so why stick around? I truly enjoy my job and my coworkers. It’s just the ones in charge that need to do what’s right for the USPS.