On CNN, local Postal Workers Union head calls out Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s Senate testimony

Miriam Bell: Removal of sorting machines causes delay of “almost 4.5 million pieces of mail per week that cannot be processed, per machine”

Video file

Citation From the August 21, 2020, edition of CNN’s CNN Newsroom

ANDERSON COOPER (ANCHOR): Does what you today heard from the postmaster general square with what you've been seeing on the ground?


COOPER: Explain that.

BELL: Well, here in Charlotte alone, we have had seven mail processing machines removed. They — these are typically called delivery bar code sorters, and we've also had one flat sorter machine. These removals began around July the 1st, and they have continued even up until day before yesterday. And the machines were on a scheduled timeline of just to continually remove them. We have had emails provided to us that substantiate these issues. These machines, the flat sorter machines, process about 21,600 pieces of mail per hour. The delivery bar code sorter machines process up to 39,000 pieces of mail per hour. There are —

COOPER: Let me ask — let me just ask you here, because the postmaster general was asked about these machines, and I just want to play what he said.


SEN. GARY PETERS (D-MI):  Will you be bringing back any mail sorting machines that have been removed since you've become postmaster general? Will any of those come back?

LOUIS DEJOY (POSTMASTER GENERAL): There's no intention to do that. They're not needed, sir.

PETERS: So you will not bring back any processors?

DEJOY: They're not needed, sir.


COOPER: So are those needed? I mean —

BELL: Yes.

COOPER: I assume removing them was, the argument given was that it was obsolete, that they weren't necessary.

BELL: Oh no, absolutely not. These machines — if you consider just one of these delivery bar code sorter machines, it processes up to 39,000 pieces of mail per hour. If you average only a 16-hour processing day — and mind you, these plants run 24/7, 365 — but if you take those 39 [thousand] pieces of mail per hour, that comes up to 624,000 pieces of mail per day per machine. If you multiply that times seven days, that is almost 4.5 million pieces of mail per week that cannot be processed, per machine.

COOPER: So, why — I mean, what was the reason for removing them?

BELL: We were not told. The union is supposed to be informed of things like removal of machines, and excessing of jobs and et cetera. I have reached out to the local plant manager.

I have received zero response, I have not gotten any type of notifications. I mean, we're looking at close to 50 jobs here.

COOPER: We just lost her audio. Miriam Bell, I appreciate your time and all you do. Thank you very much.