Pols put USPS on notice concerning worker protection and customer information

Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz was among 20 electeds who sent a letter to VP Pence about issues with the mail during COVID-19
Schneps Media Jason Cohen

While many are worried that the postal service will need a bailout, Bronxites are wondering where their mail is.

Elected officials heard the cries of their constituents and on April 15, nearly 20 pols sent a letter to Vice President Mike Pence and United States Postmaster General Megan Brennan to express concerns about inconsistent and unreliable mail service throughout the pandemic.

The letter represents an escalation from previous efforts to call attention to delivery problems that were first noticed in the 10463 zip code, but are present in many neighborhoods throughout the borough.

“We write to you to express our great concern regarding the health and safety of postal workers and the impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) on mail delivery in New York City,” the letter states. “The postal service’s offerings are an essential service for millions of Americans in the maintenance of their daily lives.”

The letter calls attention to “great concern regarding the health and safety of postal workers and the impact of the coronavirus on mail delivery in the city.”

Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz was among those who signed the letter.

Dinowitz created an online survey to help us keep track of the scope of USPS issues in the Bronx. The numbers show that roughly two-thirds of people are missing personal correspondences or care packages and that half of people are missing paychecks or some other kind of monetary item. There are also a number of people waiting on bills.

Additionally, the officials highlighted health risks posed to postal service employees as a result of nationwide shortages of personal protective equipment. Postal workers have been calling out sick in significantly greater numbers than usual, sometimes reducing workforces to less than one-quarter of what is needed to deliver one day’s mail.

The letter included three specific questions for Pence and Brennan to answer. First, the officials asked how USPS is handling worker shortages to ensure that mail is delivered in a timely manner. Second, they asked about guidelines provided to post offices for ensuring that postal customers throughout the USPS system are kept informed about operations and delays in services. Third, the letter requested a current status of personal protective equipment (PPE) that are available to fulfill USPS’s guarantee that masks, gloves and hand sanitizer are available to employees.

Dinowitz feels the Bronx is being disrespected and not given fair treatment as the other boroughs

“There is power in numbers, and right now what the Bronx needs is the power to get a response from the United States Postal Service and the White House Administration. I am sick and tired of these serious problems going unaddressed at a system wide level,” Dinowitz said. “We cannot operate a nationwide postal system by waiting for employees to get sick before making a plan.

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