To the Editor,
My wife and I have homes in Minneapolis and Lanesboro, but we have been living in our Lanesboro home since mid-March to reduce the likelihood of catching COVID-19. I am 68 years old and vulnerable to the virus because of underlying health concerns. Essential items such as clothing, food and prescriptions are delivered to reduce the frequency of visiting stores. Two weeks ago, while delivering packages, the postman told me that he needs 11 hours to complete his work, but only gets paid for eight hours since overtime pay has been abolished. This surprised me, but it has been verified in recent newspaper articles. A Trump mega-donor has just been installed as postmaster general. He has instituted measures that cause delays in delivery, including eliminating overtime, undermining our faith in the post office. This is concerning, since many votes will be cast by mail. The Postal Service traces its roots to Benjamin Franklin, the first postmaster general. As a government agency, the Postal Service is legally obligated to serve all, regardless of location, at uniform price and quality. This is important for rural areas since no private deliver service would delivery first-class mail to rural areas. As an essential government service, the Postal Service must be fully funded to provide timely and efficient deliveries, especially of mail-in ballots. It is unfair to force employees to choose between doing their jobs properly and getting paid for their work. It is unfair to force voters to choose between voting and exposing themselves to the COVID-19 virus. If this concerns you, contact our elected government officials, Amy Klobuchar, Tina Smith and Jim Hagedorn, to demand that postal workers receive overtime as needed to assure that the Postal Service can deliver all mail in a timely manner.