SCHUMER REVEALS: LONG ISLAND’S POSTAL HUB—ALONG WITH ITS 7,500 TOTAL WORKERS & DOOR-TO-DOOR SERVICE—FACE A GIANT AXE UNLESS ADMIN. FINALLY MEETS IN THE MIDDLE & NEGOTIATES ON ‘COVID-4’; SENATOR STANDS UP FOR LI PLANT’S WORKERS, NEIGHBORHOOD POST OFFICES & DEMANDS CRITICAL SERVICES REMAIN
Of All The USPS Processing Plants In The Nation, Melville’s Is One Of The Most Important Because It Serves Tri-State Area—BUT Without Coronavirus Fed Relief, LI’s Postal Engine Could Fizzle, Impacting Jobs, Businesses & Everyday Service
Schumer Just Met 1:1 With Postmaster & Warned Of Inaction; Senator Cited Delayed Medications, Paychecks & More In Plea To Get Stamp Of Approval On LI USPS Funds
Schumer: Even A “Back Of The Envelope” Calculation Shows LI Post Office Operations Would Be Amongst The Hardest Hit If Action Is Not Taken
Mere days after a 1:1 meeting with USPS Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer revealed that Long Island’s Melville postal hub—one of the biggest in America—along with the Island’s more than 7,500 USPS workers in total and door-to-door service could face a giant axe if the administration does not —like it has in prior pandemic relief bills—meet in the middle and negotiate on the ‘COVID-4’ relief bill now on pause in Congress and if USPS leadership does not support its agency.
“A week ago today, I met one-on-one with Postmaster General DeJoy and my very serious concerns for Long Island’s postal operations, workforce and customers still remain,” said U.S. Senator Charles Schumer. “The Melville facility, Long Island’s more than 7,500 jobs and this plant’s tri-state services are systemic to the entire USPS postal system, a part of the ‘central nervous system’ functions, really. So, a place like this will feel the results of inaction first and it would get worse from there across Long Island and beyond. That is why we are here today for two reasons: first, to make a case for the administration to meet in the middle and negotiate on pandemic relief for the USPS and second, to urge USPS leaders like Louis DeJoy to back this place up—the entire Island, its entire workforce and all the customers.”
Schumer said that of all the processing plants in the nation, Melville is a tri-state hub and that it cannot risk a major slash or closure, a scenario the facility and LI postal services could face without deserved pandemic relief. Schumer warned that without negotiated pandemic relief for the USPS, LI jobs, businesses and everyday postal service on the Island would be changed—for the worse. He detailed his recent meeting with DeJoy and explained how he pushed the postmaster on these issues of delayed medications, consumer goods, paychecks and more as he made a public case for Congress to act and for the postmaster general to heed the concerns of Long Island.
Schumer was joined by Walter Barton, President of the National Association of Letter Carriers Long Island Branch, Peter Furgiele, President of the American Postal Workers Union Local 3251, Keven Tabarus, President of the National Postal Mail Handlers Union Local 300 and employees of the Long Island postal system who ensure door-to-door delivery to homes and small businesses across Long Island as he made his case for action.
As it relates to Long Island and its more than 7,500 USPS workers and countless customers, Schumer said he is concerned because the USPS recently directed operational changes in post offices and processing centers. On August 7, 2020, the USPS also announced a significant reorganization of Postal Service leadership and functions, which could impact Long Island. These changes include the elimination of extra mail transportation trips, the reduction of overtime, the start of a pilot program for mail sorting and delivery policies at hundreds of post offices, and the reduction equipment at mail processing plants. Schumer said these decisions absolutely have an impact on Long Island, a case he made to the postmaster.
“Because one of the biggest plants is right here in Melville,” Schumer warned.
In urging the postmaster, both in letters and personally, Schumer argued the Postal Service is an “essential public institution with an obligation to serve every community in the nation.” Schumer told DeJoy he should not make changes on Long Island that will slow down mail or compromise service for veterans, small businesses, rural communities, seniors, and millions of Americans who rely on the mail for medicines, essential goods, voting, correspondence, and for their livelihoods. The Postal Service has characterized these changes as efficiency or cost-saving measures and add they minimized any “temporary service issues” as an “inevitable” side effect of implementing new procedures, Schumer and colleagues noted in a recent letter.
Schumer has argued that in the midst of a pandemic, these actions, whether intentional or not, are already causing mail delays across the country and appear to constitute an unacceptable threat to the Postal Service and the millions of Americans who depend on it. According to Time, amid the pandemic, many postal service employees have seen their workload double because Americans started ordering more medicine and food online from inside their homes. But the volume of letter mail – the USPS’s biggest revenue stream – has fallen. In April, the U.S. Postmaster General, told the Congressional Committee on Oversight and Government Reform that revenue losses this fiscal year could reach $13 billion. Schumer said that the USPS is like any other business that has been provided relief and assistance and that the numbers prove they’ve been hard hit.
“The bottom-line for Long Island is that even a “back of the envelope” calculation shows that postal operations here would be amongst the hardest hit if action is not taken and if leadership within the agency does not make the right decisions, and we cannot have that and I will not go for it,” Schumer concluded.
A breakdown of USPS jobs across Long Island’s congressional districts (CD) appears below:
CD 3 (Melville)
*TOTAL LONG ISLAND USPS WORKFORCE: 7,651 JOBS