WASHINGTON — U.S. Virgin Islands Delegate to Congress Stacey Plaskett released the following statement regarding her letter to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy regarding the persistent problems with the operation of mail service to the U.S. Virgin Islands, her office announced Monday.
“Today, I sent a letter with Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, and other colleagues on the committee, to the postmaster general of the United States Postal Service … to request his attention to the substantial inequities of service occurring in the district of the U.S. Virgin Islands. As a remote location in the United States, the Virgin Islands is highly dependent on the USPS, and the service currently provided is far below the standard service elsewhere in the United States.”
Plaskett’s letter said the territory’s postal woes fall into two categories: the lack of adequate personnel and delayed packages.
“My office has reached out to USPS management at the local and regional level multiple times to request that mail be flown directly to the Virgin Islands and sorted there,” Plaskett said in her letter. “Our office has been told repeatedly that the Virgin Islands does not have enough mail volume to require a sorting machine.”
But the USPS in Puerto Rico does not have enough personnel to sort mail for the USVI and Puerto Rico, and it is the Virgin Islands-bound mail that is delayed as a result, Plaskett said.
“Next, there are far too many cases of damaged packages delivered to the Virgin Islands. While some accidents are inevitable, there is an unusually high volume of parcels arriving to the Virgin Islands with water damage, boxes forcibly opened and then hastily re-taped, accusations of theft, as well as evidence of footprints left on packages, suggesting they have been stepped on or kicked,” the delegate said. “Furthermore, due to the unusually high volume of mail coming into Puerto Rico, some USPS locations lack the space to store the backlog of mail, and it is often left outside, where it is inevitably damaged by weather.”
Plaskett’s letter to the postmaster general asks him to “immediately investigate these matters thoroughly to provide the people of the Virgin Islands with solutions to these deeply concerning issues and the USPS service that they need and deserve.”
“My letter requests that that postmaster general reconsider having mail bound for the Virgin Islands sorted in Miami, Florida, and delivered directly to the Virgin Islands. It is the duty of the Postal Service to provide adequate service to the citizens of the United States, including Americans in locations outside of the contiguous United States, such as the Virgin Islands.”