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:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.


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