Mid Hudson News: ROCK TAVERN – Postal workers gathered Friday at the Teamster’s Local 445 hall to discuss the future transfer of clerks and letter carriers to the Mid-Hudson Sorting and Delivery Center at the Stewart Airport Industrial Park in the Town of Newburgh.
Clerks and letter carriers from 17 towns are slated for transfer, but critics of the plan say local deliveries could be delayed, workers could be displaced, and the post offices built during the FDR administration may be sold off.
Letter carriers and clerks in Newburgh, New Windsor, Cornwall, Cornwall-on-Hudson, Clintondale, Maybrook, Salisbury Mills, Rock Tavern, Beacon and Wallkill are expected to begin their transfer this September.
In February 2024, clerks and letters carriers in Walden, Modena, Montgomery and Fishkill are expected to begin their transfer. Wappingers Falls, New Paltz and Pine Bush are currently on hold for their transfers to the sorting center.
“It’s a bad thing on so many levels,” said John Bouck, Jr, a steward for APWU –MHAL, the postal clerks’ union.
“It supposed to be done for the purpose of maintaining customer service standards and/or saving money. It doesn’t look like it’s going to do either.”
The Liberty Street Post Office in the City of Newburgh has 20 clerks, and Bouck said they will be replaced by two clerks as the remainder are scheduled to report to the sorting and distribution center.
Congressman Pat Ryan led off the town hall, and he said the personnel changes in the local communities, due to these transfers, will be hurtful to everyone.
“In the pursuit of supposed efficiency, the oldest argument in the book, to hurt the community, to put more working people under pressure and cut jobs, in pursuit of that false goal, they are doing the same thing here in the Hudson Valley,” said Ryan. “This will cost jobs in the Hudson Valley at a time when no family can afford to lose a job. This will hurt every constituent of mine, every neighbor in the Hudson Valley who will under threat of less quality service, less access to life-saving prescriptions that are delivered via mail, legal matters, family matters, personal matters and all the things that make our country and community thrive through the postal service. So, this is not only a threat to our postal workers and all who make our system work, but it’s a threat and risk to the whole community.”