Postal Groups Call for End to After-Dark Mail Deliveries

Carolyn Kaster/AP file photo

Letter carriers should no longer deliver mail after dark, one group representing employees at the U.S. Postal Service has said in light of the recent shooting of a postal worker at 7:30 p.m. while on the job in Maryland.

The Community and Postal Workers United -- a group of activists from various postal unions -- blamed the death of Tyson Barnette, a part-time USPS worker, on mismanagement at the agency. The consolidations of mail processing centers and a lack of adequate staffing has caused carriers to start later in the day, CPWU said, which has in turn led to after-dark deliveries.

Mark Dimonstein, president of the American Postal Workers Union, also pointed to plant closures as the impetus for night delivery. In a statement, APWU quoted a eulogy from Barnette’s coworker, saying USPS must never again “lose a life to save a dollar.”

“Let this tragedy serve as a wakeup call,” Dimonstein said. “Management must take the necessary steps to strengthen service and safety.”

In light of the shooting, the Postal Service inspector general has launched a “series of audits into the delivery of mail after 5 p.m.,” according to an OIG spokeswoman. The IG’s office had previously investigated the timing of mail delivery, but decided to extend that research after Barnette’s death.

The audit announcement comes after pressure from Congress mounted to look into late mail deliveries. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., wrote a letter to Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe probing for a series of answers into the causes and frequency of after-dark delivery.

“I am deeply concerned about the apparent risk of requiring postal employees to deliver mail after dark,” wrote Norton, who serves on the House committee with oversight of the Postal Service. She said some of the blame falls on Congress’ inability to pass a postal reform bill, as well as darkness coming earlier during winter months, and noted the uptick in nighttime deliveries is unprecedented.

The National Association of Letter Carriers also called on the Postal Service to look into how to better ensure the safety of its employees.

“This tragic incident highlights the need in all operational decisions about how and when mail is delivered to give priority consideration to the safety of these dedicated public servants,” said Fredric Rolando, NALC’s president.

CPWU was much stronger in its warning: “This tragedy will be repeated unless major changes are enforced.” 

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.