Washington AG renews legal fight against ‘drastic’ changes to US Postal Service

Oct 8, 2021, 11:46 AM | Updated: 11:56 am
USPS lawsuit...
Postmaster Louis DeJoy. (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson is once again joining a legal challenge to fight a series of “drastic” large-scale operational changes to the U.S. Postal Service (USPS).

Seattle-area postal workers ‘don’t see a plan’ to fix machines

Ferguson had originally filed a lawsuit in August 2020, which sought to end all of the reductions to the USPS enacted by Trump-appointed Postmaster General Louis DeJoy. That included plans to halt the processing of outgoing mail at three out of five Washington USPS distribution centers in Wenatchee, Yakima, and Tacoma.

Other cuts included decommissioning mail sorting machines, removing mailboxes, and no longer treating election mail as first-class mail, regardless of postage paid.

After DeJoy temporarily halted the changes himself in the lead-up to the 2020 general election, the lawsuit was put on hold. Roughly 40% of letter-sorting machines in the Seattle-Tacoma area postal service processing plants were decommissioned prior to DeJoy pausing the changes he had enacted. Five of those machines at a Tacoma plant were restored, while two others were repurposed to boost sorting capacity for other functioning machines. A machine in Wenatchee was also reinstalled.

Now, with DeJoy planning to once again move forward with his proposed changes, legal efforts are ramping up, with Ferguson joining a coalition of 20 state attorneys general to challenge what this new lawsuit describes as action that will “threaten critical mail delivery.”

Judge agrees to expedite Washington AG’s lawsuit against USPS changes

“Millions of Americans depend on the mail every day to receive their prescriptions, pay bills, receive Social Security checks, send rent payments and more,” Ferguson said in a news release. “One political appointee does not get to decide the fate of the Postal Service. There is a process that demands accountability from the American public for a reason — and I will fight to ensure the public gets a say.”

Other changes proposed by DeJoy across a 10-year plan include reducing air and ground transportation, cutting overtime hours, and the potential closure of select post offices and mail sorting facilities.

According to Ferguson, that could delay deliveries for “a range of important services, from prescriptions to utility bills.”

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Washington AG renews legal fight against ‘drastic’ changes to US Postal Service