U.S. Sen. Chris Coons, D-Delaware, using a video clip to prove his claim, found a dismantled mail processing machinery apparently left out in the rain during a visit to the Postal Service’s Mail Processing and Distribution Center in New Castle.
Republicans claim Democrats have manufactured a crisis over changes at the postal service at a time when the volume of First Class Mail has left excess capacity. At the same time, complaints about delivery delays continue to pile up.
The controversy also comes on the eve of a Democratic nomination acceptance speech by U.S. Sen. Joe Biden in Wilmington.
“Right behind me is a sophisticated barcode sorter; this is the sort of automated mail handling equipment that U.S. Post Master General Louis DeJoy has had removed,” Sen. Coons said in a video message.with the sorting machinery in the background.
The visit by Coons to the New Castle-based facility comes as allegations surface over the postmaster general sabotaging his own agency.
Coons said he was alerted by several USPS frontline workers exercising “the right of government employees to petition or furnish information to Congress or a Member.” The employees there reported on a late-night operation to dismantle and remove various types of letter-handling machinery at Quigley Boulevard. The USPS employees asked Coons to ee firsthand the destruction of government property.
“We would like to invite you to visit our facility to see for yourself what is happening here in Delaware,” said a USPS employee who asked to remain anonymous. “By coming to visit, you will see how the Postal Service is being destroyed from the inside out. The major problem is the amount of working mail processing machines that are being dismantled and set out in the rain as trash.”
The employee also wrote that “there have also been delays in the mail since Postmaster General DeJoy has given the order of ‘no late trucks.’ If the mail is not processed in enough time for dispatch, then the mail is held until the next delivery day. This is causing delays in the mail being delivered to our customers.”
Coons reported that postal officials turned down a request for a formal visit to the post office site that in times past handled a large volume of mail in the former of credit card and other mailers.
Postal workers claimed that once word went out that the mail handling site was under scrutiny, clean-up work was ordered.
Earlier this week, Coons joined Sen. Tom Carper, Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester, and Attorney General Kathy Jennings for a press conference to fix delays.
DeJoy later said the Postal Service would suspend work in removing post office boxes.
The Postal Service has sent out letters to election officials in Delaware and other states stating that they could not guarantee delivery of election ballots mailed out after a certain date. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump has warned about fraud in mail-in votes while filling out an absentee ballot in Florida elections.