Crist Urges Postmaster DeJoy To Address New Safety Issues For Postal Workers

St. Petersburg, FL, November 24, 2020

St. Petersburg, FL –  U.S. Representative Charlie Crist (D-FL) sent a letter to Postmaster Louis DeJoy asking for the United States Postal Service to provide reflective gear and flashlights to protect letter carriers working nighttime hours. As the added workload of the pandemic has forced more workers to continue their deliveries long after nightfall, several Pinellas postal employees have reported lacking the necessary equipment to complete their routes safely.


A USPS reflective vest

“Those who are already risking their lives to keep us connected during the pandemic should not face yet another safety risk,” Crist said. “It is imperative that our letter carriers have everything they need to deliver our mail safely and efficiently. Knowing that letter carriers are having to work longer hours, sometimes after dark, it only makes sense that we provide them with tools as simple as reflective vests and flashlights.”

“Letter Carriers of Florida and also around the country are getting very concerned with delivering late at night without the proper safety equipment seven days a week. We applaud Rep. Crist’s efforts to bring this issue to the attention of the Postmaster General," said Al Friedman, Florida State Letter Carriers Association President. 
 

A pdf of the letter can be found here, with the text appearing below.

                                                                    

                                                                     November 24, 2020

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy
United States Postal Service
475 L’Enfant Plaza SW
Washington, D.C. 20260


Dear Postmaster DeJoy,

I write to you regarding the safety of letter carriers who are delivering mail after dark.

As you know, our frontline employees at the U.S. Postal Service have been more critical than ever during the pandemic. They have put their health and safety on the line, working longer hours than normal to deliver mail, packages, medication, and ballots reliably, and as quickly as possible.

Much attention has rightly been paid to the provision of personal protective equipment for postal employees to protect against the virus. But I have recently been made aware that letter carriers face yet another safety issue.  Specifically, letter carriers in my district who deliver the mail on foot or by bicycle after dark, an occurrence that has increased due to the pandemic workload, report that they lack the reflective vests and flashlights they need to do the job safely.  The increased volume of mail plus the shorter days of winter mean that many of these workers spend hours on the streets after sundown with nothing to help them see or be seen, making their job harder and leaving them vulnerable to passing motorists.  

I know you share my belief that it is the responsibility of the United States Postal Service to keep the workforce safe.  To that end, what nighttime gear, including reflective vests and flashlights, are currently available?  If you do find that the availability is inadequate, what steps will the USPS undertake to rectify this issue?  

Thank you for your attention to this matter, and I look forward to your timely response.

Sincerely,

 



Charlie Crist
UNITED STATES CONGRESSMAN

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