"USPS Is Falsifying Safety Docs As Its Workers Die of Heat"

"Even after a mail carrier’s recent death, the company continues to violate its own rules."

"Under the formidable sun, Dallas USPS mail carrier Anthony Talarico trudged each day with his satchel, 11 miles over 12 hours, to deliver mail to 750 homes in the Lakewood neighborhood. On September 7, the temperature had hit 107 degrees Fahrenheit. But even after a long shift, Talarico, along with 20 other mail carriers who serve as union stewards of different Dallas-area post offices, came to the local National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) union hall. In the bright, bare space, adorned with only a few photos and a sign that read “Ring of Honor- Lone Star Branch 132,” the attendees scarfed down pizza and drank Coke and NOS energy drinks to keep alert. Another 26 people joined on Zoom as branch president Kimetra Lewis explained how to document and file grievances, of which there were plenty.

“What we’re dealing with this week is very similar to that day when Gino passed away. It was hot. It was a struggle. We’re now dealing with things with this heat we’ve never dealt with before,” Talarico said.

It’s been three months since Talarico’s coworker, Eugene Gates, died suddenly on a homeowner’s front lawn along his delivery route on June 20 as the temperature reached 98 degrees. Doctors recorded his body temperature at 104.6 at the time he died. The Observer is the first to report that the Dallas County Medical Examiner recently confirmed hyperthermia and artheroslerotic cardiovascular disease, or a thickening of the artery walls, to be the causes of death. "

This story was published in partnership with The Nation.

Josephine Lee reports for the Texas Observer and The Nation October 11, 2023.

Source: Texas Observer, 10/13/2023