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Queens Chronicle

Postmaster gone after calling out mail carriers

Stremel blamed lack of ‘work ethic’ and union rules for delivery delays

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Posted: Thursday, May 10, 2018 10:30 am

Paul Stremel, who last month blamed mail carriers who “don’t like to come to work” and union rules for delays in delivery, has been removed as the acting Jamaica postmaster.

A postal source with direct knowledge of the matter said Stremel’s reassignment was a result of his comments at Community Board 10’s April meeting, which were reported by the Queens Chronicle.

“It’s pretty common knowledge it was because of his comments,” said the source, who could not say where Stremel is now working.

A USPS spokesman only confirmed that Stremel is no longer the Jamaica postmaster, but is still employed by the agency.

“While we do not speak to individual personnel matters, the Postal Service does have a long history of using vacant positions for our future leaders to grow their skills,” the spokesman said. “Typically those are annotated by the phrase ‘acting’ and generally have a specific time period associated with the run.”

The spokesman did not address a reporter’s question on whether Stremel’s comments had anything to do with the reassignment.

Joseph Raguso has been named the acting postmaster of Jamaica, one of Queens’ largest USPS sectors.

Stremel could not be reached for comment by press time.

The then-acting postmaster appeared in front of CB 10 last month to address ongoing issues with mail delivery. Queens residents have complained since late last year of not getting mail for several days, and getting it late in the evening when they do.

A representative for Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-Queens, Nassau) told CB 10 members last week that there are still problems in parts of the district, especially in South Ozone Park.

Stremel said one of the reasons why people were getting letters or parcels late is because some carriers don’t come to work.

“A lot of them, they don’t have the work ethic,” he said. “It’s not important to them.”

Other carriers must then complete their routes, which results in people getting mail late in the evening, sometimes past 7 p.m., he said. He also blamed union rules for making it difficult to terminate bad workers, saying, “They get a couple of bites of the apple before we can get rid of them.”

The Chronicle’s story was shared on various postal news websites, drawing outrage from carriers across the nation.

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  • postal guy posted at 2:58 pm on Thu, May 17, 2018.

    postal guy Posts: 17

    Route 666 below is dead on the money. The tone of this bums argument was that there were too many rules in the Post Office that kept incompetent people from being fired.

    Ironic much? Those same rules saved his worthless ass from going on the unemployment line.

  • route 666 posted at 12:14 pm on Fri, May 11, 2018.

    route 666 Posts: 1

    This is all too typical as to how postal management covers up for it's incompetent managers, shuffling them from job to job, in hopes of being able to disguise their total lack of skills or knowledge of the job. This guy was obviously not a good manager, throwing unfounded blame on others, when a good manager would take responsibility and try to properly correct the problem. Guys like this are never fired, merely moved to another temporary position, no doubt with a pay increase. The Post Office does have a thing about people speaking to the media without their permission...he probably got in a bit of hot water doing that. The PO has specially trained personnel to talk to the press, giving carefully scripted speeches that gloss over real issues.