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Dear Santa, can I have my mail for Christmas?

The post office building on East Hill Street.

The post office building on East Hill Street.

By SANCHESKA DORSETT

Tribune Staff Reporter

sdorsett@tribunemedia.net

EMPLOYEES at the General Post Office on East Hill Street continued their protest for the third week, with Bahamas Public Services Union President Kingsley Ferguson telling The Tribune that Christmas mail will “probably not be delivered” until the New Year.

However, Mr Ferguson said he has been assured that work on the “rat and mould” infested building will begin as early as next week. When the building is safe, he said the employees will “gladly” return to work.

Dozens of employees demonstrated in front of Parliament two weeks ago, after days of protesting on East Hill Street, demanding the government either make the building habitable or move them immediately.

Rat infestation, heat from a broken air-conditioner and alleged rashes from handling mail are just a few of the problems the workers are protesting.

“The workers are still out but it was agreed by the minister that those temporary things will be fixed and the building will be safe for occupation,” Mr Ferguson said.

“So as soon as the mould is dealt with and the air conditioning and cosmetic issues are fixed work will resume. The mail is backed up and I assume there will have to be overtime for persons to get mail before Christmas but that will be the mail starting back from June. So getting Christmas mail delivered is something that will probably not be realised. We cannot make any promises.”

Earlier this year, then-BPSU President John Pinder threatened industrial action if the government did not immediately relocate employees from the “unsanitary” building. At the time, he said his members were forced to work in a mould infested building with rats, termites and a leaking ceiling.

Since then, Mr Ferguson said things have become progressively worse and despite employees only working half days, many of them have reportedly developed respiratory issues because of the toxic environment.

In an interview outside Cabinet last Tuesday, Transport and Local Government Minister Frankie Campbell told reporters the government is aware of the situation and his ministry is “redoubling our efforts to ensure that Christmas cards are delivered on time.”

“We are advised that a part we were seeking for months is about a week away. It has been shipped, it’s in Florida and we are advised once it’s here, installation should take three to five days and that will resolve the air-condition and ventilation problems,” Mr Campbell said last week.

“The rodents, since I became the minister, I have sent the Environmental [Health] Department there and we will send them back. That is a continuous problem that is caused by our bad habits but they will go back and resolve that issue. Also there is a question of poor lighting in the general mail sorting area, so we will seek to remediate those pressing issues to make the place tolerable until such time as a permanent location is identified and addressed... In the meantime, we will address the urgent matters, we want them to know that help is on the way,” Mr Campbell had said earlier. 

Comments

OMG 6 years, 7 months ago

Nothing new with that threat. Mail has been undelivered, periodicals and foreign newspapers stolen for over 20 years/ Bahamas mail is a totally unreliable waste of money and time.

Clamshell 6 years, 7 months ago

Agree. When we bought a home in the Bahamas 16 years ago we tested the Postal Service by mailing a card from the U.S. to Eleuthera. It took 6 months. We never again mailed anything to or from our island home. Expats would carry mail back and forth for each other ... we called it the “Pony Express” ... ;-)

Dawes 6 years, 7 months ago

They need to knock that building down and build a new Post office elsewhere. But when they do it can be a lot smaller, as only an idiot would send items by mail. Even before this the timeframe for sending items was slow. Have your bills sent via e-mail, and send e-mails instead of mail, save yourself the hassle.

OMG 6 years, 7 months ago

Quite agree. On the islands we get our BEC and BTC bills two months out of date. Thank God for email. Used to subscribe to Mechanics weekly in 2001, received one copy out of 12. How can the building be blamed for that. A new buiding, which I agree is needed will not stop theft.

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