‘Out of money by early fall’: Postal Unions Press for Pandemic Relief
Postal union officials called for more financial support in upcoming COVID-relief packages on Wednesday, warning that the agency could run out of money by the end of September and disrupt essential services. “Without real relief, appropriated relief, not more debt, not more loans, appropriated relief, … the post office could likely run out of money by early fall,” said Mark Dimondstein, president of the American Postal Workers Union. “And that would put the whole question of service to the people in serious and dire jeopardy.” Dimondstein joined AFL-CIO Secretary Treasurer Liz Shuler in calling for support of Postal Service provisions in the $3 trillion coronavirus aid package passed by the House on May 15. The bill would provide a $25 billion appropriation to the post office, and, according to union leaders, free up a $10 billion loan authorized by an earlier relief law. The COVID-19 pandemic has put the Postal Service in a double crisis, Dimondstein said. As many as 12,000 workers have fallen ill, with 64 fatalities, and the economic contraction has caused a dramatic drop in letter and other flat mail volumes.