The story begins with a 10-year plan created by General Louis DeJoy, the current Postmaster General. In a nutshell, the plan, which already kicked off on October 1, is meant to overhaul how the USPS does business.
According to the Postal Service, the plan aims to restore service excellence and financial sustainability. The emphasis is on financial sustainability because the Postal Service has now slowed down mail delivery after hiking postage costs the previous month.
Americans who were used to the standard three-day delivery for first-class mail, including bills, tax forms, and letters, will now have to adjust to five-day deliveries.
What Does the Complaint Allege?
Attorney Generals from the following twenty states are suing the Postal Service because of this new development: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Nevada, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Washington, Washington D.C, and Virginia.
Here are the main points raised in the complaint:
- The complaint alleges that the Postal Regulatory Commission, responsible for overseeing USPS operations, did not do its due diligence in assessing the viability of the 10-year plan developed by the Postmaster General. Instead, the PCR only gave an advisory opinion on two occasions, which is not enough to cover the entire scope of the plan.
- According to Josh Stein, North Carolina’s Attorney General, the changes will negatively impact Americans who previously relied on the timely delivery of important mail. This is especially so for Americans in low-income households, the elderly, and those who live in rural areas.
- The complaint also alleges that the public was not given an opportunity to weigh in on the plan before it was implemented.
The Response From the PRC and USPS
It appears the PRC shared some of the concerns raised by the complaint. In July, the PRC released a report where PRC commissioner Ashley Poly stated that they were not entirely convinced the slowdown and reduction of service standards by the USPS were justified.
However, the PRC had little to say after the lawsuit was filed beyond that it will establish a docket to look into the matter. The USPS has dismissed the lawsuit as having no factual or legal merit and says it will implement the radical plan while adhering to all statutory and legal requirements.