Nothing stays these couriers: Postal workers deliver during Sandy


November 17, 2012

While nearly everything was shut down by Superstorm Sandy — airports, trains, subways, schools, businesses, and most of the federal government — the Postal Service was still up and running.  Postal workers were still out there delivering the mail, even on Monday, the day the storm hit.  The Postal Service’s unofficial creed — “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds” — took on a whole new level of meaning during those tragic days.

Postal workers didn’t just keep delivering the mail.  They also contributed to the relief effort.  For example, in upstate New York postal workers collected food contributions, gathering canned goods and other items left in mailboxes on their routes.  

The response of postal workers to the storm demonstrates how important the Postal Service is to the welfare and security of the country.  The Postal Service isn’t just a business, and it’s not just a bulk mail delivery network.  It’s something much more than that. 

Postal workers are an essential part of every community in the country.  Even though they may be feeling demoralized by all the downsizing, by the failures of Congress and postal leadership, and by the very real threats to their jobs and their families, they are out there doing their jobs, everyday, rain or shine, Sandy or not. 

As the images in this slideshow so dramatically illustrate, postal workers feel a special dedication to their jobs.  There's a postal worker in Keyport, New Jersey, for example, who delivers to a senior citizen high-rise that had to be evacuated.  He kept track of where everyone was going so he could continue delivering their social security checks.  “I know they needed them,” he said.  “Just being out there and showing the folks that something in town was working, and sharing information with them, that was important.”

As a resident of Brick, New Jersey puts it in one of these slides, “You have the greatest letter carriers.  While my husband and I were walking in the muck in our house, we heard this pounding on our door.  It was the letter carrier handing me my medicine!  I want to find out who he is. I want to take him to dinner. I love the Postal Service.” 

The postal worker who shared the slideshow had this to say: “This is who we are.  This is not just those impacted by a horrific storm.  This is the face of every American community, and it shows how truly essential postal workers are to the people we serve every single day.  This is what our forefathers had in mind when they said they said the post office was meant to bind this nation together.  This is you.  This is me.  This is all of us.”

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Also: Sarah Ryan's "Understanding Postal Privatization: Corporations, Unions, and the "Public Interest"

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Organizing to Save Rural Post Offices


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Revised November 2012

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