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Changes To US Postal Service Could Mean Mail Delays, Reduced Operating Hours

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- A recent internal memo from President Donald Trump's newly-appointed U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy outlines some cost-cutting measures that he hopes will help pull the long cash-strapped agency out of the red. But local postal workers say customer service will suffer because of it.

"We always have the mindset, get the mail out on time every day," said Nick Casselli, American Postal Workers Union Local 89 president.

The proposed changes include closing post offices during lunch. Right now, windows are staffed throughout the business day. Casselli said he believes it's important for the hours to remain convenient for customers.

"I'm on lunch, I want to do postal business, I go to my post office and now it is shut down, which has never ever happened in the past," he said. "We've always been open our whole business day from 9 to 5."

DeJoy also plans to eliminate overtime. Postal workers say the agency is so short-staffed, they often need to work late to get people's mail out on time. Casselli added customers will suffer the most when mail delivery is delayed.

"There's medication, there's Social Security checks, and there's packages, machines, medical machines that get delivered through the mail. Now, they're going to sit," he said.

Long lines and delays at post offices are already common due to the pandemic, but customers Eyewitness News spoke to at the Fishtown post office say they recognize that workers are doing their best under difficult circumstances.

"I love that we know our mailman and our home mail has been pretty good," said Allison Moore.

"I think all essential workers are being mistreated right now, so I hope that that doesn't happen and we can figure out a way to take better care of them and give them overpay for their time and risking their lives," said Lily Brown.

Some are criticizing the choice of DeJoy as postmaster general. He is a major Trump donor and does not have direct postal experience. But others argue his business background is exactly what the agency needs to become financially solvent again.

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