Local Postal Service workers shared a memo distributed to employees at the Burkey Street Sorting Facility on January 10 that warns changes are likely coming to the Burkey Street facility that will threaten jobs and further slow mail delivery by moving mail processing and distributing (PD&C) out of these facilities to Denver.
The 6 page memo, called a “Stand Up Talk” (pdf), warns of an impending facility review that will likely lead to consolidation of plant operations here in Grand Junction and the relocation of parcel operations from here to Denver. It indicates Trump-appointed Postmaster Louis DeJoy will likely take steps that will further erode mail service in Grand Junction and mountain towns. A veteran postal worker said the plan “will definitely slow down mail processing and probably cost some jobs in our areas,” adding that “They seem to cut service then lower their standards so it looks like they are ‘fixing things’.”
Changes to the Postal Service under DeJoy have led to a higher stamp costs and a noticeable erosion of mail service, especially in mountain towns. In 2020, DeJoy admitted his attempts to overhaul the Post Office had resulted in “unintended consequences” including mail delays, backups at mail handling facilities and increased scrutiny of his actions from Congress. Locally, it has resulted in closures of outlying post offices, overwhelming mail pile ups at the Scarlet letter carrier annex.
And amid the continued erosion in service, under DeJoy the cost of stamps is set to increase yet again. On Jan. 21, 2024, the price of a First-Class Forever U.S. Postage Stamp will increase from 66 to 68 cents, and prices for domestic postcard stamps will also increase by two cents from 51 to 53 cents.
The Stand Up Talk memo couches DeJoy’s latest proposed changes in happy talk about making “improvements” as part of a plan to turn the USPS into an “efficient, high-performing, world class logistics and delivery provider.” The memo says the proposed changes will “elevate the level of service provided to the public; drive innovation and enable a broader array of postal products and services; enhance organizational competitiveness; improve efficiency and lower the cost to operate; and provide better workplaces and careers for Postal Service employees.”
Postal workers in Grand Junction are currently organizing people to rally against the proposed changes as well.