Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-Glen Cove) on Monday in Melville advocated for the Delivering for America Act, which would prohibit the USPS from implementing any changes to the operations or level of service it had in place on Jan. 1, until the COVID-19 pandemic has ended. Credit: James Carbone

Long Island’s mail has already been delayed by overtime reductions, scheduling changes and removal of equipment as concern grows that the U.S. Postal Service won’t have adequate funding this fall, union representatives and U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi said Monday.

"Some routes aren’t even being delivered" as letter carrier's hours are shifted back, overtime is denied and equipment has been removed, said Walter Barton, president of Letter Carriers Local 6000, which represents 3,600 letter carriers on Long Island and in Queens.

Local postal unions are advocating for more funding to avoid further cuts, which they said could negatively impact those who receive their ballots, prescriptions, Social Security checks, legal documents and other important items by mail.

Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-Glen Cove), left, looks at a photograph...

Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-Glen Cove), left, looks at a photograph of a mail processing machine with Kevin Tarbarus, president of National Postal Mail Handlers Union Local 300, outside the U.S. Postal Service mail processing facility in Melville on Monday. Credit: James Carbone

Their call comes amid Democrats' concerns that President Donald Trump is trying to sabotage the agency ahead of this year's presidential election as many states plan to increase mail-in voting during the coronavirus pandemic. They have also raised concerns about cost-cutting measures taken by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a Trump donor who started in June.

“We’re being hampered by the destruction from within by the politically appointed postmaster general,” said Peter Coradi, a national business agent for the American Postal Workers Union's New York region. “We need true funding for the Postal Service.”

Additional Postal Service funding has been held up as federal officials have yet to reach a deal on a new coronavirus relief package.

House Democrats are scheduled to return to Washington, D.C., on Saturday to vote on a bill, which Suozzi (D-Glen Cove) co-sponsored, that would maintain the Postal Service’s current level of service and staffing until at least January.

“You can’t have delays in the mail, especially when this election is so consequential and the election that will be the most impacted by mail in the history of the country,” Suozzi said in an interview.

Eugene Fata, president of the American Postal Workers Union AFL-CIO chapter representing the Postal Service processing center in Melville, said he is not aware of mail delays at that site but said postal workers have not yet received promised back pay or hazardous pay for working during the pandemic.

“We are the backbone of America,” Fata said outside the Melville facility.

Fata, who recently retired as a tractor trailer operator, said clerks and motor vehicle employees at the Melville site have worked seven days a week. Five workers there died of COVID-19 and about 80 tested positive, he said.

About 82 letter carriers on Long Island and in Queens tested positive for COVID-19 and one died, Barton said. 

A Newsday analysis shows the number of referees and umpires has declined 25.2% in Nassau and 18.1% in Suffolk since 2011-12. Officials and administrators say the main reason is spectator behavior. NewsdayTV's Carissa Kellman reports. Credit: Newsday Staff

'Why am I giving up my Friday night to listen to this?' A Newsday analysis shows the number of referees and umpires has declined 25.2% in Nassau and 18.1% in Suffolk since 2011-12. Officials and administrators say the main reason is spectator behavior. NewsdayTV's Carissa Kellman reports.

A Newsday analysis shows the number of referees and umpires has declined 25.2% in Nassau and 18.1% in Suffolk since 2011-12. Officials and administrators say the main reason is spectator behavior. NewsdayTV's Carissa Kellman reports. Credit: Newsday Staff

'Why am I giving up my Friday night to listen to this?' A Newsday analysis shows the number of referees and umpires has declined 25.2% in Nassau and 18.1% in Suffolk since 2011-12. Officials and administrators say the main reason is spectator behavior. NewsdayTV's Carissa Kellman reports.

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