Marigot: --- All Post Offices on the French side of the island closed their doors yesterday to the public after the daring gun point robbery which took place at the French Quarter Post Office on Wednesday morning. Supporting the postal workers were their union representatives the SUD (Solidarity Union Democratic).
Speaking to members of the media was Patricio Piper known as ‘Pato” who made clear that they are not on strike instead they have closed their doors in the hope of sending a message to everyone that something needs to be done with security on the French side. “We need to see what head of the Postal Services will do about this situation since this is not the first time gunmen attacked the Post Office”. Even though they are not on strike the workers are now planning how they should deal with the situation at hand. They said already a Social Worker came from Guadeloupe as a means of support.
The SUD members said Wednesday’s incident is not the first instead it is the third time Postal Workers have been attacked. The first instance they say was at the Marigot Post Office where someone attacked with a machete, and then it was at the Grand Case Post Office. There the attackers used a handgun and the same happened on Wednesday in French Quarter.
What is troubling for the workers are that it seemed to them as if the workers are being followed because each of the incidents took place when the social welfare monies are being paid out. “The two gunmen who attacked our colleague in French Quarter followed the postal worker who took a bag with registered mails to that Post Office and it seemed as if the gunmen taught it was the welfare monies that were dropped off there”.
The union representatives said that the attackers even fired two shots at one of the workers at the scene. “The gunmen even had a struggle with the security guard who was at the location at the time of incident. “Our colleagues had to run and hide so that they could not get hurt.” Even though the security guard and the postal workers were not hurt, the union said that this situation must be attended to right now.”
One of the main concerns of the workers is the removal of the glass that was between the clients and the clerks. The union said that management had decided to move away the glass so that the workers would have more contact with their clients, one that is more businesslike and friendly, but this they said has placed their colleagues in a more risky situation. “The monies at the Post Office are always secured; the clerks at the Post Office cannot retrieve monies in case of a hold up. For monies to come out of the vault they need to conduct a transaction and only the specified amount of monies that has to come out of the transaction will be despensed. Should a bandit hold up one of the clerks and they don’t get the amount of monies they want then our colleagues lives are at stake, since they cannot take out monies to hand over to bandits in a hold up”.
Yesterday the French Quarter Post Office had its door closed with a sign posted on the wall saying the Post Office will remain close until further notice. All pick up of mails and other transactions have to be done in Grand Case.