NJ Congressman Addresses USPS’s Latest Changes

On 6 March at Cherry Hill Public Library, the U.S. Postal Service’s announcement of the potential relocation of operations from the South Jersey Processing and Distribution Center to the Philadelphia P&DC had sparked significant criticism and concern. The poorly timed public meeting and inadequate public notification had highlighted the lack of transparency and inclusivity in the decision-making process. False information regarding the possibilities of job displacement and the lack of substantial evidence to support claims of operational improvements further eroded trust in the USPS’s intentions. Calls for greater transparency and accountability were made to ensure that any changes benefit all customers, employees, and uphold the USPS’s commitment to serving the public interest.

New Jersey House of Reprsentative, Donald Norcross also showed his concerns by reaching out to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy through correspondence. (See Representative Norcross’ letter to Postmaster DeJoy below this article.)

Representative Norcross has also taken to the public on this matter. He wrote:

Dear Friend,

I have many concerns about the Postal Service’s proposed changes to the South Jersey distribution center and the potential impact it may have on delivery times, small businesses, and jobs across the region. From an electric bill or mail-in ballot to a lifesaving prescription or COVID-19 test, we all know how important timely mail delivery is to our daily lives. South Jerseyans deserve more transparency when USPS wants to make significant changes that will impact its services.

Wednesday’s hearing, which was not advertised with adequate notice and is occurring during most people’s normal work hours, is also extremely concerning. Holding one hearing in only one town on the proposal is restrictive on the public’s ability to provide input and is a disservice to our community. The distribution center serves a large region in South Jersey and our community must be allowed to have sufficient input on the proposed changes.  

Through March 21st, you can also submit an online public comment here.

That’s why I wrote to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy urging greater transparency and sharing these concerns. My team and I will continue to monitor this situation and work to ensure that mail services remain timely and reliable for South Jerseyans.


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Notices of Public Meeting for SO Jersey NJ P&DC

There will be a Public Meeting next Wednesday,  March 6, 2024 at 1 PM (EST) at the Cherry Hill Public Library. (DOWNLOAD THE ATTACHED DOCUMENTS TO SEE THE FULL DETAILS)

The recent announcement by the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) regarding the potential relocation of operations from the South Jersey Processing and Distribution Center (P&DC) in Bellmawr NJ to the Philadelphia P&DC in Philadelphia PA has sparked significant concerns among residents and businesses. While part of a $40 billion investment strategy aimed at enhancing operational efficiency and improving customer service, this move has already resulted in mail delivery delays and the loss of mail and packages. These issues underscore the pressing need for a thorough reassessment of this decision.

The USPS’s Delivering for America plan, while seeking to make the Postal Service more efficient and competitive, has raised doubts about its effectiveness in light of the current situation at the South Jersey P&DC. The facility review, intended to inform resource allocation and enhance customer service, has instead led to disruptions that are negatively impacting the community. Moreover, the potential decrease in employment opportunities due to this relocation adds to the local economic struggles, further exacerbating the situation.

Public input is a crucial component of such decisions, yet the short notice given for the public meeting on March 6, 2024, at the Cherry Hill Public Library, has left little time for meaningful community engagement. This rushed approach undermines the transparency and inclusivity necessary for a decision of this magnitude, especially considering the potential impact on the stability of current employees who may be uprooted from their base of operations, leading to possible job losses.

As concerned citizens, we urge the USPS to reconsider its decision regarding the South Jersey P&DC. While recognizing the need for modernization and efficiency, we emphasize that these goals should not come at the expense of service quality and community well-being. We call for a more comprehensive evaluation, with ample opportunity for public input, to ensure that any changes made benefit all stakeholders involved, including the employees whose livelihoods are at stake.

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A Call to Action for Better Staffing

As we embark on a new year, the APWU Staffing Task Force Committee, comprising dedicated local and state leaders, is gearing up its Better Staffing, Better Service campaign. As postal workers, we stand at the forefront of the nation’s oldest and most trusted public service. Yet, years of management “cost cutting” and short staffing have eroded our ability to fulfill our mission to the public, undermining service quality, increasing workplace stress, and driving away business and revenue from the USPS.

In the coming year, our resolve to mobilize and unite with the public must remain steadfast as we demand staffing levels that ensure short retail lines, open post offices, and safer workplaces. The public deserves exceptional service, and so do we, the postal workers who tirelessly serve them.

Every member of our union, regardless of craft, holds a stake in a robust and thriving Postal Service. Each one of us can play a pivotal role in this endeavor. As we gear up for 2024, let us equip ourselves with the following strategies to bolster our campaign:

  1. **Organize Locally:** Strengthen ties within your local union chapter. Organize meetings, discussions, and workshops to raise awareness about the importance of adequate staffing levels and the impact on both workers and the public.
  1. **Engage the Public:** Reach out to communities, customers, and stakeholders. Educate them about the challenges faced by postal workers due to short staffing and the detrimental effects on service quality. Mobilize public support through petitions, rallies, and media outreach.
  1. **Leverage Social Media:** Utilize social media platforms to amplify our message. Share stories, testimonials, and statistics highlighting the consequences of inadequate staffing. Engage with followers, encourage them to join the conversation, and spread awareness online.
  1. **Collaborate with Allies:** Forge alliances with other labor unions, community organizations, and advocacy groups that share our commitment to better staffing and service standards. Pool resources, coordinate actions, and amplify our collective voice for maximum impact.
  1. **Advocate for Legislative Action:** Work with elected officials at the local, state, and federal levels to advocate for legislation that addresses staffing concerns within the USPS. Lobby for funding allocations and policy changes that prioritize adequate staffing and support the Postal Service’s mission.

This is a fight that the APWU must lead, and victory is within our reach if we all actively participate, organize, and mobilize. Together, we can ensure a future where postal workers have the resources and support they need to provide exceptional service to the public.

Let us stand together, shoulder to shoulder, in solidarity and determination. Our voices matter, our actions count, and our cause is just. Together, let us make 2024 the year of Better Staffing, Better Service for postal workers and the communities we serve.