By Bill Hudson

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Postal workers and letter carriers say they’re being squeezed for political reasons.

They say changes implemented by a new postmaster general are slowing down mail delivery and threatening the upcoming general election.

On any given day nearly a half billion pieces of mail move through the U.S. Postal service.

“Mail moves 24 hours a day, it never stops,” said Samantha Hartwig, from the National Association of Letter Carriers.

But threats from President Trump, to withhold postal service funding for fear it will encourage more absentee balloting has USPS unions crying foul.

“There is not evidence to prove there’s fraud. People have been mailing ballots for elections for years. This is not something new, and there’s never been an issue before,” said Hartwig.

In June, Trump ally Louis DeJoy was appointed postmaster general. He’s already cutting overtime and hundreds of mail sorting machines as a way to curb costs.

“It’s a slap in the face to every dedicated postal worker who’s been coming in to work during this pandemic,” said Brad Sandberg.

He says the changes are already slowing mail deliveries. He fears a political motive. In next few months, ten’s of millions of absentee ballots will be flooding in.

“He want’s to suppress the vote so people he doesn’t think are going to vote for him, won’t have the ability to vote,” said Sandberg.

In 1775 mail delivery was essential to a fledging democracy. Now centuries later, those who handle mail say their jobs are crucial to keeping it.

In about a month, new postmaster Louis DeJoy will appear before a congressional committee. It’s demanding answers to recent changes that appear to be slowing mail deliveries.