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Milwaukee postal worker union leader: no delays after several sorting machines removed, disconnected

Posted at 10:25 PM, Aug 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-21 23:29:18-04

MILWAUKEE — Several sorting machines have been removed or turned off at the USPS processing facility on St. Paul Avenue in downtown Milwaukee, according to a postal worker union leader.

Chris Czubakowski helps lead up the Milwaukee Area Local 3 American Postal Workers Union. He says four sorting machines have been removed and three have been disconnected. He says 28 machines remain.

Czubakowski said the facility on St. Paul Avenue only processes letters, and a facility in Oak Creek handles parcels.

So far Czubakowski said he hasn't seen any delays, but he's says he's concerned any time machines are removed.

"Bottom line is at this point with the volume we have the first class mail is still on time," Czubakowski said.

But some Milwaukee postal workers tell a different story. Some Milwaukee postal workers sent TMJ4 News photos they say show backlogs of mail waiting to be delivered, after USPS implemented new policy last month—which in part prohibits overtime.

TMJ4 obtained a picture of an email from the manager of the Lakeland District, which includes Milwaukee, expressed his concern last month, writing in part, "These changes are not like anything most of us have experienced. It is unknown and uncomfortable, but we will prevail."

TMJ4 reached out to a local spokesperson for the USPS about the email, photos, and machines. As of late Friday evening, the spokesperson sent this statement from Postmaster General Louis DeJoy.

DeJoy has since told Congress he has suspended the new policies after receiving criticism that it could impact mail-in ballots.

"I want to assure this committee and the American public that postal service is fully capable of delivering election mail on time," DeJoy said.

In the meantime, postal workers say don't lose faith in them.

"We don't care how the American public votes, only that your ballot gets there on time, and we can absolutely handle this," Czubakowski said

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