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NH postal workers say partisan leadership hurting ability to do their job

Postmaster general backtracks on planned changes


New Hampshire postal union leaders are calling delivery delays a manufactured crisis while saying they need federal help to ensure they can carry out their jobs.

Union leaders pointed to the postmaster general, who was appointed two months ago, as a political player with no Postal Service experience.

"The Postal Service has always been nonpartisan," said U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H. "This should not be about partisan politics. It should be about service to the people of this country."

Overtime cuts were part of sweeping changes made by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy that have caused delivery delays, union leaders said. DeJoy backpedaled Tuesday afternoon, saying policy changes have been suspended until after the election.

"We just can't let this be a political thing that ruins elections or anything else," said Janice Kelble, of the New Hampshire Postal Workers Union. "People need us."

Frustration boiled over Tuesday as USPS union leaders continued to make their case for $25 billion in federal aid.

"I think most Americans, if they got a voice in this, would have picked the Postal Service way ahead of the cruise lines for getting stimulus aid," Kelble said.

Union leaders called the timing of the removal of five automated sorting machines from New Hampshire receiving centers suspicious, while assuring Shaheen the election mail will be delivered on time.

"The additional election mail is a very small percentage," Shaheen said. "This is a manufactured crisis. The real challenge is ensuring the Postal Service can continue to operate to address the needs that people in New Hampshire and across this country have."

DeJoy has agreed to testify before Senate lawmakers Friday and before House lawmakers Monday.