Trenton Metro Area Local
American Postal Workers Union
President Bill Lewis
Hamilton, NJ 08650
Closed due to Terrorist
Employees continue to suffer
Scheduled to Reopen 02-??-05
Post Office Activation Committee Meeting Minutes
POST OFFICE ACTIVATION COMMITTEE
Trenton, NJ 2/8/05
Trenton P&DC Re-Opens
Arbitrator Rules for Workers Displaced in Anthrax Attacks
D.C. Postal Workers Given Antibiotics as Precaution
Feds Close Another Postal Facility
Signs of Anthrax at Two Pentagon Mailrooms
Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Was March 13, 2005 @1PM
Post Office Reopens After Anthrax Attacks
Let them eat cake after anthrax arrests
Trenton P&DC Photos Gallery Source USPS
Main Office Window Services Will Open to the Public on March 14, 2005
Mail Processing Operations Will Return to the P&DC on March 20, 2005
Tour 3 Outgoing Mail Operations Will Return on or About March 26, 2005
Post office that handled anthrax set to reopen
Anthrax gone; some fear remains
Memorandum of Understanding For Trenton Employee Traumatized by Anthrax
Trenton P&DC Restoration Update
99% of the work is completed
by Bill Lewis' observations
Trenton P&DC Update
Mail Processing Machine Status
|Bio Detection System||Installed|
|FSM 100 # 37||Running|
|FSM 100 # 36||Running|
|AFCS #3||Arrived Awaiting Installation|
|DBCS # 60||Running|
|DBCS # 61||New Machine Installed|
|DBCS # 62||New Machine Installed|
|DBCS # 63||Running|
|DBCS # 64||New Machine Installed|
|DBCS # 65||Running|
|DBCS # 66||Running|
|DBCS # 67||Running|
|DBCS # 68||New Machine Installed|
|DBCS # 69||New Machine Installed|
|DBCS # 70||Running|
|DBCS # 71||Running|
|DBCS # 72||Running|
|DBCS # 73||Running|
|BCS # 1||Running|
|BCS # 2||Running|
|OCR # 1||Running|
|OCR # 2||Running|
|Low Cost Tray System||Running|
Future Planned Machinery
4 Additional DBCS & maybe more
1 Additional AFCS to go
Extending the Barney System
Work on the restoration of the P&DC is progressing at a
decent pace, there were some set backs and unforeseen additional work which
caused the delay in reoccupying the building.
I project the building reopening will be after January 31, 2005.
My personal opinion is the project is 90% complete and this is based
solely on my observations.
The major construction on the workroom floor is completed
and just a few minor items remain. I don’t believe there will be any major set
backs in this area of the building.
Most of all the major electrical work is completed and the
contractor has reduced the amount of electricians on the job.
Most of the work now is testing and working out the problems.
The parking lot is repaved and lines painted, the spots are
over a foot narrower then before. New
gates are being installed at the entrances and exits.
The new heating system is working but still needs to be
balanced to keep the building at an even temperature. The AC units are still being worked on and the new air
compressors and air pipes have been installed.
The swing room is almost completed and needs a few minor
items. Locker rooms are done and
new lockers are being assembled. I
have a problem with the men’s locker room and the new lockers.
They made the men’s locker room smaller, they constructed a small room
inside the men’s locker room, no one can tell me what the room is for.
Both men and ladies’ lockers are ½ lockers; you will not be able to
place a pair of boots or even your lunch box in these lockers.
Throughout the administrative section of the building more
space was allocated with larger cubicles, spacious offices for some managers and
we get less. The union was not
permitted to bargain nor were we involved in any discussions over employee areas
or items. Surprised, I am not.
The Main Office Window Section has new retail counters and
new PO Boxes. The whole lobby has been redone, and is awaiting the new POS units
and the new Automatic Postal Centers.
Spare no expense was the call for the administrative
section. New carpeting, new
cubicles, new lighting, new heating and state of the art mixer box for better
climate control. The walls have
been laminated with ¼ sheet rock and a new coat of paint.
Looks good. I will not
comment on the carpeting colors, you be the judge.
Oh, I forgot, the new card access system will not allow you into the
palace. I am somewhat confused over
the new security system that prevents employees who already gained proper entry
to the building from moving about in their own facility.
The north and south platforms are a bit behind with the bay doors and dock levelers. The new heating and lighting is completed. The south platform has air conditioning.
Since the building has been declared safe for maintenance
to begin the work of restoring the mail processing machines over 2,500 samples
have been taken and all were negative.
The Bio-Detection system, BDS is scheduled to be installed
in the Trenton P&DC in January 05. The new Ventilation Filtration System,
VFS is installed over the loose mail preparation, Barney and AFCS.
These new safe guards will make working in the 010 area a bit different.
The conveyors and AFCS have enclosures to contain the dust and potential
hazards and then remove them to a multistage HEPA filtering system.
The new filtering and bio detection system generate a substantial amount
of heat. To compensate for this
additional heat load an air conditioning unit was placed on the roof just for
the 010 area. Noise levels in this
area will have to be monitored when all of the machines are functioning; in my
opinion these new features are quieter then you would expect.
I have requested from management that more Trenton
Maintenance Employees be assigned to Trenton to help with the maintaining of the
building and machines. I guess
since I asked, it will not happen.
The postal service has not had any official discussions
with the local about staffing or tour operations when the building reopens. We
will more than likely have those discussions at arbitration.
Talking about arbitration, the long await anthrax travel
grievance is scheduled for January 13, 2005.
There are many rumors floating around about this issue, THERE HAS BEEN NO
SETTLEMENT. I am currently in negotiations with the New York Metro Area to
possibly resolve this issue. Resolution
of this issue is not likely at this time since both parties are so far apart.
I have requested National Business Agent, Jeff Kehlert and the local’s
attorney to begin the final preparations for arbitration.
Yours in Unionism
Stamp of approval 11/16
Representatives tour the once anthrax contaminated mail facility in Hamilton, NJ
Highlights of the Informational Brunch held for the Trenton Employees on Sunday, November 14, 2004.
The time frame for completion and the eventual return
to the Trenton P&DC is as follows:
Postal Mail Processing equipment refurbishment should be
completed by December 31, 2004.
The Contractors should be completed with the building
restoration project by January 31, 2004.
Bio-detection systems will be installed within 2 weeks on
The first mail operations should begin in the middle of
February. Not all of the operations
will be moved at once. It may take
up to 2 months to complete the phase in. Standard
A mail will be ran on the machines until everyone is confident the machines are
performing at acceptable levels. Once the desired results are achieved, First Class mail
operations will be returned.
All Trenton mail operations will cease in the interim
facility in Monroe NJ; it was reemphasized on numerous occasions during the
brunch that no “Trenton Mail” will be processed in Monroe once Trenton
P&DC is fully functional. The
New York Area is still looking at what will be done with the facility since the
Postal Service has 2 years left on the lease.
Additional craft employees will be assigned to the Trenton
P&DC from other facilities to fill vacant positions.
Positions will be filled either by excessing or reassignment.
Not every vacant position will be filled.
Area VP Dave Solomon clearly stated that no mail processing
facility in NJ would be closed. But
he did not mention anything about consolidating mail operations.
Thousands of samples and tests have been conducted and all
were negative for anthrax. Air
monitoring is ongoing 24/7 within the P&DC with dry filter units (dfu’s).
For additional information on the restoration visit the Local’s web page. TrentonMetroAreaLocal.com
Post Fumigation Update:
July 27, 2004
renovation of the Trenton P&DC is progressing.
The floor has been installed over more then half of the building; they are up to the old FSM 881 area. All of the DBCSs have been dismantled and moved for the installation of the floor along with portions of the barney system.
We have moved our DBCS rebuilding operations into the carrier annex section of the building, on the new floor.
This week we will move the AFSM 100 to the section of the building where the floors have been installed. The Trenton maintenance team has been moving machines for the past 2 weeks. The floor project is crucial to the whole machine renovations project. Once the floor is completed we will be able to start assembling machines in their new locations. The floor layout has changed somewhat regarding the location of machines.
We are still experiencing delays and shortages of parts from our suppliers. Other Post Offices are transferring stock to our inventory to assist in maintaining the inflow of supplies necessary to complete the mission.
The SPBS has been removed and disposed of and we are now going to receive a machine from North Carolina. This is a change; we were originally getting the SPBS from South Jersey as stated in the last report. Now the machine can be installed right after the floor is installed instead of waiting for South Jersey to get its APPS machine.
The workroom floor is sporting a fresh coat of paint on the walls, lookout galleries (spy booths) and columns. Painting of the building still continues, most of the painting has been centralized on the workroom floor areas for now.
Asbestos removal continues in different locations of the building. Not all of the asbestos will be removed from the building only areas that were deemed trouble spots.
Most of the building has been cleaned by hand, the crew from CCI Company has done an excellent job in cleaning and maintaining the cleanliness of the building during the whole project.
New energy efficient boilers and air compressors have been installed and the demolition and removal of the old air conditioning system is still on going. New mixer boxes and some new ductwork are being installed throughout the building.
New tile is being installed in restrooms on the workroom floor. The walls along with the floor were also being tiled. I am still not clear if all the restrooms will have new tile installed. All the fixtures have been removed from the restrooms.
The BMEU has gained some additional space, the wall into the old CFS unit has been opened and space has been added for MERLIN. The rest of the old CFS unit is being divided into offices for the US Inspection Service.
MOWS has been completely sheet rocked and painted and is now awaiting a new floor, boxes and counter line.
The old data site is now the new home of procurement. Walls have been opened to the South dock to allow supplies to be placed right into the storage area from the dock.
Maintenance has taken over the old procurement office and has subdivided it into private offices.
The personnel office has been reduced to one little office, the old personnel office is still vacant according to the plans and awaiting new occupants.
The latest floor plan is showing that the old carrier annex section of the building will house some of the DBCSs, operation 175 and some other manual operations. 030, 044/150 will still be in the same area along with the Registry, Certified Section and Postage Due will now be on the same aisle. The OCRs and BCSs were facing north to south in the building now they will be changed to face east to west the same as the DBCSs. The flat sorters will remain in the same location. The new tray system will be located where express mail and E-5 operations once were. These are just my observations from the floor plans and as with any plans in this company these are subject to change.
There are many projects still ongoing and I will continue to update you as things develop and I do believe once the floor is completed we will see all of the work we have done come together and show that real progress has been made.
The post office plans on making a video this week of some of our employees working in the building.
The renovation of the Trenton P&DC is moving along at a fast pace. I must admit I am very pleased with the progress made in the last 2 weeks. Work has begun on the following projects:
Removal of the boilers and air conditioning units are underway, work on the air duct is also in full swing. New mixer boxes are being installed which will help in the delivery of the cool air to the floor. The air condition units will be disassembled and tested for anthrax before they are disposed of.
The bathrooms throughout the facility have been totally gutted, water coolers have also been removed from the walls.
The roof is being repaired with new felt paper and tar.
The employee parking lot and other parking areas have been milled down and ready for the new black top. An area of broken concrete has been removed and new concrete is ready to be poured.
Cement blocks are being replaced along with the sheetrock walls.
Painting of the walls has begun in the carrier annex section and maintenance control.
Removal of the asbestos is underway in the administrative areas and anywhere the floor tiles have been damage. The installation of the new floor will begin around the week of June 28th.
Electricians are in the process of hanging wiring racks for all the new wires. Many miles of wire are ready to be installed. Testing and repairs to the entire electrical system is ongoing.
A new fire alarm system is going to be installed. All of the fire sprinkler heads are in the process of being installed and the entire fire suppression system will be rebuilt.
Steps are underway to staff the 11 vacant custodian positions and other additional maintenance employees, these position are critical to the renovation.
We currently have 7 ETs and 1 Maintenance Control Clerk from other postal facilities.
Current Machine Status
2 DBCSs have been rebuilt and the others are being disassembled and overhauled. Once the DBCS modules are rebuilt they will be staged until the new floor is installed. The maintenance staff has the monumental task of moving every machine so the floor can be installed and then the machine has to be rebuilt and reinstalled.
Machine Inventory as of 6/23/04
DBCS 12 (7 rebuilt, 5 new)
AFSM 100 2 (rebuilt)
UFSM 1000 1 (used, South Jersey, NJ)
Low Cost Tray System 1 (new)
AFCS 2 (used, Bronx, NY & Kilmer, NJ)
MLOCR 2 (used, Hackensack, NJ & Brooklyn, NY)
MPBCS 2 (used, LI City, NY & Hackensack, NJ)
Loose Mail Preparation, Barney (rebuilt)
SPBS 1 (used, South Jersey)
Scales 3 (new and used)
The new Bio Detection System will be installed in November and the 2 remaining AFCS machines in December.
Plans for reentry into the plant are underway. All of the supervisors who are assigned to the plant will receive 8 hours of training on the reentry into the building, and once the training is completed, and the building is ready, your supervisor will give you a tour and orientation of the building.
Testing for anthrax spores, dead or alive, continues around the clock and all of the tests have come back negative.
Work has begun on the remediation of the soil under the VMF building. If you recall management contaminated the soil when they allowed a lift to leak hydraulic fluid into the earth. Once the soil is removed the installation of the new lifts will take place. We are looking at a 120-day window for completion.
June 6, 2004
Restoration of the Trenton P&DC is in full swing; contractors are on site and are assessing the work and have brought their construction trailers and supplies. The wash down of the building is under way. They are actually washing the ceiling and walls by hand. They have completed the former carrier annex section and they are a quarter of the way complete in the P&DC.
Work continues on the mail-processing machines. DBCS 62 is up and running and our maintenance staff has been able to sort bar coded mail on it. We are still waiting for parts like the Ink Jet Printer, camera, and just a few minor things. Once these parts are received they can finalize the machine. Work continues on AFSM 37 and DBCS 61.
An increase in security around the building has begun. A new security fence has been erected around the building; Let me tell you I have never seen so much fencing. The new security firm is in place and has issued new ID badges with a bar code on them. Every time you enter or leave the building you are scanned in and out. The only way into the work site is through the security trailer where you are scanned.
Most of the machines that are being disposed of are loaded into the dumpster.
We had a problem with the Dry Filter Units testing when we switched contractors; we went to a 5-day testing and then to 6 day. The Postal Service will use the on site lab on the weekends, and testing will continue on a 7 day cycle. There has been no positives or false positives in the last 5 weeks. This is a good sign to me that neither a dead nor a live spore has been detected.
While working in the building I have found some mail on the loose mail preparation system, (Barney). This mail has been tested and deemed clean, another good sign.
Demolition has begun in the building. The Main Office Window Services has been totally gutted. The box mail boxes, window service counter line have been removed, the tile floor has been jackhammer out. On the workroom floor all the water fountains, toilets and sinks have been removed. Sheetrock by the swing room hall way and some area of carpet row have been removed. All the flexible ductwork, wires and doorways have been removed from carpet row. All of the employee lockers were also removed and disposed of.
The project of the new asphalt-planking floor should begin any day now. They plan on beginning in the carrier annex and then they will start on the main floor. Maintenance will have to move the machine around the building. This will be a time consuming task. The cleaning, floor installation and electrical work will all delay repairing the machines.
Testing of the buildings electrical system will commence this week. The testing of the electrical system will be done at night. Our night shift maintenance team will not be able to work thus creating another major delay in restoring our machines. When you only have a handful of employees and you lose 3 or more that is a major setback.
The big circus tent erected in the parking lot two and half years ago has been taken down and the circus has left town, the only thing is they left some of their clowns behind. The removal of the tent will set the stage for the resurfacing of the parking lot.
I have been notified that we may begin to bring in other maintenance employees to the Trenton P&DC. We were hoping to get 40 or more volunteers but this has proven to be a nightmare with coordinating between the different plant managers. The other facilities have not been releasing the maintenance employees. I wonder sometimes if this is one company; or is this just another attempt to make Trenton fail.
Overall, I think things are looking better for us, the general contractor has given the December 3, 2004 as the completion date. The post office has given the December 24, 2004 as the completion date for all the mail processing machines to be overhauled.
second Post Office Activation Committee meeting was held on March 22,
2004. The contractor performing the renovations should be on site by
May 15 and the renovations should be completed by the beginning of December.
Some highlights of the meeting:
The south dock will be totally enclosed with bay doors and heaters. There will be 8 bays on this platform. This has been approved and will be included in the project.
The new phone system with LAN lines will be installed for a total of 500,000 dollars.
New employees lockers will be installed.
The floor is still a topic of discussion and the plan is to encapsulate and lay asphalt planking over it.
Main Office Window Services will receive a total face-lift with a new counter line, new POS system and all new tables in the lobby. The box section will be totally replaced with new boxes.
BMEU will also receive new computers and scales and possibly expand its floor space to accommodate MERLIN.
The parking arrangement may change with a new parking plan for administration, maintenance and inspectors. This plan is still on the drawing board and is all contingent on the carriers not returning to the P&DC.
The game plan for the mail processing equipment has changed so many times, this is today's plan.
The OCRs and BCSs will be disposed of and replacements will come from other offices.
We will receive 5 new DBCSs and 7 DBCSs that will be rebuilt. They have already started with DBCS 62.
The 2 AFSM 100s will be rebuilt and the FSM 881s will be disposed of along with the FSM 1000. The FSM 881s will not be replaced. The replacement of the 1000 is still tentative.
The SPBS will also be trashed and we will receive a new one from another facility. The feed system on the SPBS will be totally overhauled.
There was some confusing discussions about the 010 operations, management is only installing one advance facer canceler with the Bio Detection System (BDS). The reason for only one machine was to see how the BDS responds to the Trenton Facility. Clearly management is concerned about false alarms with this system. The Barney system (feed system) will be rebuilt. If the BDS works other AFCs will be installed. A new flat canceler is also being installed.
The security team is planning the installation of the new security cameras for the interior/exterior along with a new door access system.
I have observed the air ducts in the building being cleaned. I still haven't gotten any solid information on the Heating and Air Conditioning system.
All the fumigation equipment is being staged in the parking lots. They have found a home for this equipment and all of it should be gone in about 3 weeks.
Disassembly of the fumigation system has been initiated.
The anthrax mail trail included
the following equipment DBCS 68,70 &71and the AFCS1-3. This equipment
has been removed and is in the process of being dismantled to unrecognizable
pieces prior to disposal. The Postal Service does not want the machines on
Bill Lewis Update
February 8, 2004
I have met with the Postal Service along with the other labor organizations, we were informed that the building is safe to reoccupy. At
the briefing there were representatives of OSHA, NJDHSS and the fumigation companies Shaw and Saber. We were shown a slide presentation of how the gassing and testing process worked. We also viewed the results of the samples taken.
I asked one question, “Were any of the environmental samples taken positive for anthrax spores?” The answer was no; not one was positive. Dr. Eddy Bresnitz, State Epidemiologist/Senior Assistant Commissioner New Jersey Department of Health & Senior Services, confirmed this information along with the representative of OSHA and the fumigation company. This was also the consensus of the 16 members of the Environmental Clearance Committee. I am awaiting a copy of the letter clearing the building. Vito Cetta, District Manager has stated he will share this letter with all of the employees of Trenton P&DC.
Feeling comfortable with the results presented to me, I participated in the tour of the inside of the facility. I thought I would have had some anxiety when we entered the building, surprisingly I didn’t. We went through the containment area where the workers enter and leave the building; this is an extension that was built onto the carrier annex. This area is where the workers got washed down and removed their protective equipment.
It was an eerie feeling once inside the building. I was amazed to see how truly clean the building was, not a speck of dust or paper. I detected an odor and it took me half the tour to realize what the smell was, it was clean air, and not your typical stale building smell. There were no signs of postal life except for the skeleton remains of the mail processing machines.
It was disturbing to me at this point how a building full of employees processing millions of pieces of mail is now reduced to a ghost town.
The mail processing machines are in terrible shape and need to be totally overhauled or replaced. Believe me they are in bad shape and maintenance has their work cut out for them. Anything metal inside the building is showing signs of rust and will need replacement. Many of the interior walls are broke open to allow the flow of the gas and the installation of the huge piece of fumigation equipment.
Most of the fumigation equipment has been removed from inside the P&DC. Except for the large pieces. Most of the equipment outside is gone. Within several weeks, restoration of the building should begin.
This is truly good news for us, but we are still a long time away from processing mail in the Trenton P&DC. I will continue to update you to the progress of the renovation.
Press Release; 2/9/04
Trenton Metro Area Local Update
Union is notified that the Hamilton, NJ Postal Facility is deemed safe
The Trenton Metro Area Local was advised today that the fumigation of the Trenton P&DC, located in Hamilton, NJ, was deemed successful. All test results were negative for any signs of anthrax. The Postal Service has ensured Bill Lewis, President of the Trenton Metro Area Local, APWU, that they will reopen the Hamilton facility with the same jobs and capacity as it had when closed so we can continue to provide top-level service to area residents and businesses."
is the first good news in 2 yrs, 3 months and 21 days for the Hamilton Postal
Workers; I would say it is a very exciting day and a major step forward to our
eventual return to the Trenton Mail Processing Center,” said Bill Lewis.
“This will certainly be welcomed news to the members of the local APWU, who
have grown tired of the long commutes and the lost family time.”
We thank Postal Management for their commitment to decontaminating our mail processing facility and restoring full operations.
We are grateful to our elected lawmakers who have been there throughout the whole ordeal; especially Congressman Christopher Smith, Hamilton Township Mayor Glen Gilmore and US Senator, Jon Corzine.
The union will work closely with postal management over the next few months in the planning and return to full mail processing operations in the Trenton P&DC. There will be no disruption in the service to our customers as we transfer operations from our interim Monroe facility. We expect this transfer to be completed by early 2005.
Bill Lewis, President
E-mail: Bill Lewis TMAL@aol.com
Web Site: TrentonMetroAreaLocal.com
Anthrax detection system slated for regional postal center
The Trenton P&DC is scheduled to begin receiving the new bio-detection system in November. The new filtration system is currently being installed over the 010 area.
Search stirs anthrax Memories
A new subject of anthrax probe
Hunt widens in anthrax probe
Anthrax case hits home
Reopening mail site a priority
Distinct signature found in ’01 anthrax
Discovery raises hope that source can be traced (7/4)
Trenton P&DC Update(7/28)
challenge of anthrax decontamination
installation of the U.S. Postal Service's Biohazard Detection System (BDS)
has resumed, following a slight delay for testing to determine why some
systems were producing "inconclusive" test results. The
Postal Service Engineering group, working with BDS equipment
contractors, has identified and corrected the anomalies.
test results did not mean there was a threat in the mail: They
simply meant that a small, but unacceptable, number of tests had to be
rerun to obtain conclusive results. Had anthrax been present, it
would have been detected by the BDS. BDS has proven that it
consistently and reliably detects anthrax in the mail.
Postal Service will continue to monitor BDS performance as deployment
resumes to ensure the systems are operating properly. In addition,
a future enhancement is planned that will further improve system
goal through the testing, implementation, and everyday use of the
Biohazard Detection System has been the safety of every Postal Service
employee and the customers we serve. That's why it was critical
that the system operate properly before installation continued.
BDS is a fully contained, automated system designed to identify biohazards in the mail to provide an added level of protection to our employees. A total of 283 sites nationwide are scheduled to receive the system.
Trenton Restoration and Renovation Approved
The USPS Board of Governors approved $10.8 million in funding for restoration and renovation of the Trenton, NJ, P&DC. The Trenton facility has been closed for more than two years following the anthrax attacks of October 2001.
The P&DC was successfully fumigated late last year and decontamination was completed in February 2004. Initial work has begun to remove or repair materials and equipment damaged by fumigation.
Restoration and renovation of the Trenton P&DC will improve the workplace environment for employees and customers returning to the facility.
It’s scheduled to reopen in the spring of 2005.
News Stories of the Fumigation
Postal biodetection not in Bush budget(2/12)
Back at Brentwood(2/12)
Postal facility declared `safe'(2/10)
Trenton Metro Area Local's Press Release(2/9)
facility fumigation successful, Postal Service says(2/9)
Post office cleanup reportedly complete(2/7)
Results of post office anthrax decontamination to be released(2/7)
October 26, 2003, at 8 AM the fumigation process was completed. The scrubber system was successful in removing the chlorine dioxide from the building. All aspects of the fumigation process has met all performance levels. Crews will begin Monday morning removing the test strips. Then the long wait for the test results, 2 - 3 months.
Mayor Glen Gilmore updates APWU President Bill Lewis of fumigation success. (10/25)
EPA Bus monitors air quality around Trenton P&DC (10/25)
Performance testing of gas treatment system conducted at the Trenton P&DC successful (9/9)
Trenton - The performance test of the chlorine dioxide gas treatment system at the Trenton P&DC in Hamilton Township this past Thursday and Friday met all the required test parameters, said Vito Cetta, Central New Jersey District Manager. The results have been forward to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and we're awaiting the issuance of the Crisis Exemption Plan in order to proceed with planned full fumigation of the facility later this year, he said.
"As a result of this success, we're optimistic that plans to recover the Trenton plant will stay on course," he said. We'll continue to take the time to do this right, so that we can insure the safety of our employees, the safety of our customers and the safety of the mail."
source: USPS localuspsnewsbreak, September 9, 2004 4p.m.
The Anthrax Contaminated Hamilton P&DC is sealed and awaiting fumigation to kill the deadly spores
ANTHRAX CBS News Interactive
Anthrax Tool OSHA (4/28)
How should I decontaminate during response actions? OSHA (4/28)
New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services (NJDHSS) held a Postal
Workers Team meeting. The intent of the meeting was to bring
everyone up to speed on events of the Trenton P&DC.
As we all know the construction of the fumigation equipment is on going and is only running behind schedule by a few days, the contractor expects to catch up if the weather cooperates.
The union was informed that the Environmental Clearance Committee (ECC) has been formed and the members of that committee have been meeting and will be increasing their meetings as we draw closer to the actual gassing. The committee consists of medical personnel and scientists from various organizations; NJDHSS, NIOSH, EOHSI, OSHA and other health organizations.
The committee is responsible for determining the types of test and the placement of the test strips. There will be two different types of test. The wipe test will be cultured for actual growth of anthrax spores. There will different types of wipe tests depending on the surface and area, hepa vacuum, swab and air samples will be taken from predetermined locations of known contaminated areas.
The second type of test will be; test strips, these strips will contain a substance similar to anthrax. The strips will measure the effectiveness and disbursement of the gas throughout the building.
In total there will be 8000 tests performed on the building. The committee determined this was an appropriate amount based on the size of our building. The Trenton P&DC is 7 million cubic square feet. These strips will be removed and sent the NJDHSS lab for testing. NJDHSS has established the protocol for handling these strips.
Once the entire tests are completed the ECC will review the results and make a recommendation based on technical review of the data. This recommendation will be a public release. The ECC can only make a recommendation and has no authority over reoccupying the building. The US Postal Service has the final say. Once the ECC recommendation is made public, the committee will cease to exist. Once the Postal Service makes the final decision to enter the building, OSHA will have jurisdiction for the health and safety of the workers renovating the building. On going sampling of the building will be continued during the construction phase.
On July 9, 2003, the union will receive a tour of the outside of the Trenton P&DC. On August 8, 2003, a community meeting will be held at the same location as the last one, at Steinert High School, Klockner Rd, Hamilton, NJ. On Sunday, September 21, 2003, an employee's brunch will be held at the Trenton Marriott, Trenton, NJ.
The Trenton P&DC was closed on October 18, 2001 for anthrax contamination. The anthrax contamination was wide spread. 2 employees contracted inhalation anthrax and 3 cutaneous anthrax. Other employees have had their OWCP claims approved for known exposure to anthrax. Countless others endured the harsh side effects of antibiotic therapy and others wander the state of New Jersey in search of a new assignment.
We have been threatened with excessing, we faced death, and have overcome many obstacles to become the strongest postal workers in the world.
The purpose of this page is to keep the membership current with latest information regarding the decontamination of our P&DC.
Down to Return...
The first pre fumigation meeting was held on March 30, 2003. Management has committed to keeping the union updated with the development of the construction of the fumigation equipment. A meeting will be held every 2 weeks.
I was glad to see some movement in the right direction. Cranes and some other equipment have arrived at the site. Over the next 2 weeks, 6 trucks a day will arrive and slowly increase to 10 until the project is completed. The construction crew will eventually go to a 24-hour a day operation.
The cranes can be seen towering over the building on the South dock area along with other large pipes and containers. They are currently placing black plastic/fabric on the fence surrounding the compound so inquiring eyes can't see.
The Vehicle Maintenance Facility is now closed and those employees are now working in Lakewood and Kilmer VMF. Just prior to those members leaving a meeting was held with management. The union was not invited because all we do is supposedly obstruct the process. As a farewell address by area and district managers these members were informed how lucky they were because they could be working in Burger King. I guess this falls inline with how lucky we all are to have jobs. I know how we maintained our employment during this crisis, APWU. Enough said.
The final employees will bid farewell to our P&DC this weekend and on May 5, 2003. The new MOWS retail trailers and the box mail trailer will open across the street. The Postal Service has made some improvements to this property, paving, fencing and landscaping. The trailers will be powered by electric instead of a gas generator. A toilet trailer with running water will replace the Johnnie on the spot. The grounds will also be used for storing our tractor-trailers, I hope none of our trucks fall in the sinkholes; since 2 have appeared on the leased property.
I've recently heard that there may be some delays due to inspections.
The latest information I have on the lockers is that nothing has been disposed of yet. Employees who have submitted a claim for the hundred dollars, their lockers have been tagged. Employees who requested contents or who have claimed over a hundred dollars, their contents will be decontaminated and if cleared will be returned to the employee. I was informed that maintenance lockers have had their contents removed and decontaminated and are being stored in trailers. I have spoken to management about returning items to the maintenance employees. Contents left on employee's desks or work areas are being stored in their location and will be gassed.
Employees and contractors are working inside the building without any protection from anthrax; these employees are restoring the machines and the building.
The temporary Air Conditioning units have arrived at Monroe and should be working by May 15, 2003. The employees who worked at the River could tell you how loud these units are. The new restrooms are working; I was informed these restrooms were additions to the others, now I'm being informed they are replacements. The cubicle/office employees now have their own private bathrooms. The MDO's door will be locked because everyone is stealing from the office.
April 18, 2003
Trenton VMF Personnel
Recently, I have received inquiries from
Congressman Rush Holt and Congressman Chris Smith concerning VMF
employees not returning to the VMF once the Hamilton P&DC is
decontaminated. This is not true. You
will move back to both the VMF and Hamilton P&DC upon its successful
fumigation and refurbishment, and I have shared this commitment with
Again, you will return to the Trenton VMF at
Vito J. Cetta
Address: 680 State Highway #130
Number of employees: 697
Jobs performed: supervisors/managers, distribution clerks, mail handlers, technical employees, vehicle operators, maintenance workers
Size of facility: 5.8 million cubic feet (In comparison, the Daschle suite in the Hart Senate Office Building was only 100,000 ft3 and the Curseen-Morris P&DC in Washington is 14.2 million ft3.) 282,000 square feet.
Number of loading docks: 65
Number of mail delivery trucks based at Trenton: 100
Number of mail pieces processed each day: 4 million
Number of mail processing machines: 29
Number of local post offices that receive mail from Trenton P&DC: 51
Number of contaminated letters that are known to have passed through the Trenton facility: 4 - those meant for Senators Daschle and Leahy in Washington, and for the New York Post and NBC News Anchor Tom Brokaw in New York.
Date the facility closed after the discovery that the letters were processed there: October 18, 2001.
Number of employees who contracted either the skin or inhalation forms of anthrax: 3 mail processors at the plant, plus a letter carrier in West Trenton.
Ashland Inc. of Covington, KY
Sabre Oxidation Technologies of Odessa, TX
Shaw E&I (formerly The IT Group of Monroeville, PA)
NJ Department of Health and Human Services
NJ Office of Emergency Management
NJ Department of Environmental Protection
U.S. Centers for Disease Control
Environmental Protection Agency
Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute
U.S. Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine
Source: The U.S. Postal Service
Responses to frequently asked questions regarding the upcoming decontamination of the USPS Trenton Processing & Distribution Center:
Question And Answers
The slide presentation was provided to the Trenton Local at the briefing for the decontamination of the Anthrax contamination P&DC. The slides are slow, but do contain some valuable information for those who need to know.