Postmaster General DeJoy unveils 10-year plan to cut costs

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March 23 (UPI) -- Postmaster General Louis DeJoy debuted Tuesday his 10-year plan to cut costs at the U.S. Postal Service.

The 58-page plan includes raising prices, slowing some first-class mail service, and reducing office hours.

The plan lowers the service standard for first-class mail from three days or less to five days or less, with a shift from air to surface transportation, which it says is more reliable.

DeJoy and Ron Bloom, U.S. Postal Service board of governors chair, said in a letter noted in the plan that unless the proposed changes are made the post office stands to lose $160 billion over the next decade.

Along with the cutbacks, the plan also offers some areas of expansion. Among those, a key focus is recruitment and retention, new offerings designed to expand use of the mail by small businesses in communities, expanded seven-day delivery outreach, and $40 billion allocated for investment.

The $40 billion investment will go toward "workforce, new vehicles, improved Post Offices, technology improvements, and infrastructure upgrades," according to a statement.

"The Postal Service's problems are serious, but working together, they can be solved," DeJoy said in the statement. "Our 10-year Plan capitalizes on our natural strengths and addresses our serious weaknesses."

American Postal Workers Union President Mark Dimondstein said some aspects were good and others bad, citing focus on recruitment and retention as good, and slower delivery as bad, NBC News reported.

"Any proposals that would either slow the mail, reduce access to post offices, or further pursue the failed strategy of plant consolidation will need to be addressed," Dimondstein told NBC News.

DeJoy has previously come under fire for his changes to the postal service, and House Democrats have expressed concern about transparency.

Letitia James, a Democratic attorney general for New York, alleged in a lawsuit last year the changes DeJoy made to the postal service, such as the removal of 671 high-speed sorting machines, amounted to "nothing more than a voter suppression tactic." A federal judge issued an injunction in response to the lawsuit.

More recently, Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., criticized DeJoy's proposal to slow first-class mail.

After DeJoy said in December more than 14,000 USPS employees had contracted COVID-19, 119 of whom died, House Democrats grilled him over transparency surrounding COVID-19 cases in the agency.

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