APWU Web News Article #130-13, Nov. 26, 2013
The APWU family is deeply saddened by the death of Tyson Barnette, the 26 year old Maryland Letter Carrier who was killed while delivering mail on Saturday, Nov. 22, well after dark. We extend our deepest sympathies to his family.
The night after the shooting, approximately 150 Letter Carriers attended a vigil to pay respects to their fallen co-worker. APWU President Mark Dimondstein, Executive Vice President Debby Szeredy and Clerk Craft Director Clint Burelson attended in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in the National Association of Letter Carriers.
Many of the carriers at the vigil expressed anguish — and anger — over USPS policies that have forced carriers to deliver mail at night. In a eulogy, one of Barnette’s co-workers said we must never again “lose a life to save a dollar.”
Dimondstein believes the unsafe working conditions are a result of recent plant consolidations, cutbacks to the workforce and management policies that are paving the way for privatization. “Mail now arrives at carrier stations later, pushing delivery times into the evening, and stations are understaffed,” he said.
“Let this tragedy serve as a wake-up call,” he said. “Management must take the necessary steps to strengthen service and safety.”