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4 U.S. Postal Service sorting machines dismantled this year in South Florida, union leader says

House returning to session Saturday to vote on USPS bill
Kevin Young
Posted at 10:27 AM, Aug 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-21 18:35:16-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel outlined new legislation Friday to support the U.S. Postal Service and claimed President Trump wants to "sabotage the vote-by-mail process."

Frankel was joined by Kevin Young, the president of the Palm Beach-area American Postal Workers Union, in a briefing held at the post office in downtown West Palm Beach.

RELATED: Postal Service launches new website to help Americans vote by mail

"As far as we can tell, nothing has been done that would prevent a safe, effective delivery of vote-by-mail in Palm Beach County, with the caveat that when people who are voting by mail should get their vote back early," Frankel said.

Frankel and other Democrat have said the changes by U.S. postmaster general Louis DeJoy, a donor and appointee of President Trump, was "obstructing the delivery of mail."

NEWS CONFERENCE: U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel holds briefing on U.S. Postal Service (25 minutes)

The U.S. House is set to return to session Saturday to vote on the Delivering for America Act, which will provide $25 billion to support the Postal Service.

"The House is going into session tomorrow to try and permanently stop these reversals," Frankel said.

Frankel's office said the funds will be used to cover lost revenue due to COVID-19 other resources to continue to safely deliver the mail.

"What the president's trying to do with this post office is outrageous. It's un-American, and it's dangerous," said Frankel said.

Young said four postal sorting machines have either been dismantled or in the process of being dismantled locally. They had 24 working machines, but now have approximately 20 machines in working order as of Friday.

“We were not notified of any disruptions or any dismantling of the machines, which we are supposed to be, so we can make provisions and look into the situation. They never gave us that opportunity," Young said.

One of the four U.S. Postal Service sorting machines that were dismantled in 2020 in South Florida, according to Kevin Young, the president of the Palm Beach Area American Postal Workers Union.

Two of the sorting machines were removed in the last month, and the process of dismantling the other two began this week, according to Young.

"That does put a little bit more pressure on getting the mail out on time," Young said. "From the memos that we received, it was the postmaster general who made those directives."

RELATED: Postmaster General: USPS won't make changes to 'operational initiatives' until after election

Young said 480 postal service employees in the South Florida Postal District, which covers Fort Pierce to Key West, have been out of work at some point this year because of the coronavirus. Many of those employees have already returned to work.

DeJoy said during a Senate hearing Friday that he believes the post office will be able to handle increased mail-in voting during the 2020 election.

Concerning various reports from across the country about distribution centers dismantling mail sorting machines, DeJoy said that such machines weren't needed and were only operating at about 35 percent capacity.

"Save The Post Office" rallies are scheduled to begin Saturday at 11 a.m. across the country.