Comptroller Susana Mendoza joins rally in Moline to urge passage of more protections for U.S. Postal Service workers.

Friday, June 14, 2024

Comptroller Mendoza today joined the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC), the Illinois AFL-CIO and other officials to call for passage of the Protect our Letter Carriers Act (H.R. 7629). The bipartisan legislation was introduced in March of 2024, and addresses the rise in violent crime against postal carriers on the job. 

“Letter carriers delivered mail during the pandemic when many of us stayed in our homes,” said Comptroller Mendoza. “Every day they brave all sorts of weather and face unexpected hazards. Letter carriers deserve to feel better protected, and those who assault or rob them deserve to be punished. 

“Protecting our letter carriers should be like protecting our first responders who must work in challenging communities. We need to do everything we can to increase safety in the workplace so that mail carriers make it back to their families every night.” 

According to the NALC, there have been more than 2,000 attempted or actual robberies and assaults against postal workers nationwide since 2020. 

“Letter carriers have been facing the growing threat of violence across the nation. No one should have to go to work wondering if they will be attacked, or even return home that day,” remarked Pat Devaney, IL AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer. “The letter carriers who deliver our mail are the eyes and ears of our communities. They are often the first to respond in an emergency or to notice unusual activity. These public servants are committed to our neighborhoods at every level. We need to do everything in our power to prioritize their safety and well-being. When we protect our letter carriers, we are investing in our communities.” 

The bill does several things including: 

  • Addresses outdated “arrow keys” which are used to open certain mailboxes such as the big blue collection mailboxes. Thieves try and steal these keys, so the goal is to replace them with electronic keys which could be disabled if stolen.  

  • Calls for more investigation and prosecution of crimes against letter carriers and harsher sentencing for the assault or robbery of a mail carrier, on par with crimes committed against federal law enforcement officers. 

  • Provides federal funding for infrastructure and security upgrades. 

“I encourage members of Congress to work together on this legislation and better protect our hardworking postal carriers,” says Mendoza.