Speaking on a phone press conference May 27 with three other postal-worker union leaders and members, Dimondstein said the COVID-19 pandemic has put the Postal Service into a “double crisis”: Coping with a virus that has infected thousands of its workers, while losing revenue from a drastic drop in the volume of mail.
While the Postal Service is delivering more packages and parcels due to increased online shopping, it’s handling 30% less mail than it did a year ago, said National Postal Mail Handlers Union President Paul Hogrogian. It’s now projected to lose $22 billion over the next 18 months, he added. Without “real relief,” said Dimondstein, it could run out of money by early this fall.
The unions—APWU, NPMHU, and the National Association of Letter Carriers—are pinning their hopes on the Senate approving the Heroes Act, a $3 trillion stimulus package passed by the House May 15. It would give the Postal Service $25 billion in direct aid to cover its lost revenue and additional expenses such as protective equipment and paid sick leave.