The National Association of Letter Carriers endorsed presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden on Thursday, while lashing out at President Donald Trump’s administration saying that it has taken “steps” to “undermine the Postal Service.”
At the same time, the union voiced its concern that a “staggering loss of mail volume” during the COVID-19 pandemic has destroyed its revenue, as it warned nearly every state in America that delays at the USPS mean it cannot guarantee that mail-in ballots can be delivered in time to be counted.
What are the details?
The president of the NALC, Fredric Rolando, released a statement offering a glowing endorsement of both Biden and his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), before saying that the union’s decision was based on feedback from members “and a discussion with [Biden].” Rolando added, “The decision was also partly informed by what we have seen from the current administration.”
In 2018, legislative recommendations from the White House Postal Task Force report called for the revocation of collective bargaining rights by America’s postal unions, massive cuts to services, and the potential privatization of the agency. Since that time, we have continued to see the administration take steps outside of the public eye to undermine the Postal Service and letter carriers.
He went on to say that the COVID-19 “pandemic threatens the very survival of the USPS.”
In a separate post to its website, the NALC pleaded for funding from the next coronavirus stimulus package from Congress, saying the “Postal Service looms closer to shuttering due to the staggering loss in mail volume and revenue during this crisis.”
The NALC called the “conditional line of credit” it was granted in the previous stimulus package “a slap in the face,” and argued that the cost-cutting measures deployed amid the crisis have lead to delays to the extent that it cannot guarantee the delivery of mail-in ballots on time this fall for most of the U.S. as things stand.
After news hit that the USPS warned Pennsylvania that it couldn’t guarantee the delivery of November mail-in ballots by the deadline, the Washington Post reported that another 45 states received the same warning.
In the meantime, the issue over mail-in ballots and the USPS has become an enormous political issue for the general election.
The Trump administration nixed a $13 billion grant to the USPS in the first COVID stimulus package, and Democrats and Republicans are fighting over USPS funding in the anticipated second package.
But the president said he will not approve the boost to the USPS that Democrats are pushing for, voicing his concerns that mail-in voting is rife with fraud.
On Thursday, Trump told Fox Business, “[Democrats] want three and a half billion dollars for something that will turn out to be fraudulent. That’s election money, basically.”