MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Weeks ahead of the November general election, the union representing post office workers is sounding an alarm about slower mail delivery in South Florida. That’s because of a loss of three large mail-sorting machines.
“Those machines have been moved. We did lose three of them so far here in Miami GMF (General Mail Facility), our main plant,” said Wanda Harris.
Harris is the general president of the Miami chapter of the American Postal Workers Union.
She said each mail sorting machine was able to process up to 40,000 pieces of mail an hour. Before this summer, she said, the plan was to upgrade the machines to process even more mail.
“That’s what we were doing before this PMG came in office on June 15th,” Harris said.
That Postmaster General is Louis DeJoy, appointed by President Trump. DeJoy has agreed to testify on Capitol Hill about cost-cutting measures. They came at a time when several states expanded mail-in voting because of COVID-19.
“It’s fraught with fraud and every other thing that could happen,” President Trump said.
The president, who votes by mail, continues to disagree with universal mail-in voting. He also denies he’s trying to better his chances for the election.
“The only way we’re going to lose this election is if the election is rigged. Remember that,” the president said Monday.
Democrats said the president’s claims are not true.
“The president knows exactly what he’s doing by making these false claims,” U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet from Colorado said.
Harris said the blue mailboxes in Florida haven’t been taken away. But she said people have seen them disappear in places like Oregon, New Jersey, Indiana and Missouri.
“Our fight is to make sure that stimulus package gets passed. We need the Senate to pass it,” Harris said.
Harris said sick employees, hiring temporary help and a lower number of people buying stamps and sending mail has hurt the post office. As she and others fight for relief, Harris said they’re all working harder to get your medicine, letters, bills and ballots in on time.
“It makes us dig a little deeper, work a little harder and make sure we get the delivery out there like we normally do to satisfy our customers,” Harris said.
Removing more mail sorting machines and mail boxes have been stopped across the nation as the agency investigates customers concerns. But the postal service told CBS News on Sunday that action is routine when there’s a decline in mail volume.