New Year Brings New Rodent Problems
Rodent woes at Albuquerque post offices began in early 2019 with an incident at the Academy Station on January 18. This was followed by a March 26 sighting at the Richard Pino Station and successive incidents in April and May at the main post office.
The first official sanction came on May 28, when the Richard Pino Station received a citation and fine of $9,475 from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Along with the citation came a deadline of June 11 to correct the specific violation.
Union Pleads for Help
Local members of the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) circulated photos of the affected postal stations. Rat infestations have caused damage to floors and walls, while rodent nests and feces are scattered throughout the workplaces.
Daniel Diaz-Huerta, spokesperson for Local 380 of the APWU, cited staff cutbacks as a primary reason for the rat infestations. Custodians are forced to cover two or three offices, giving them little time to handle landscaping and other tasks that would reduce pest invasions. According to Diaz-Huerta, staff members are fearful of contracting hantavirus, a serious illness carried by rodents.
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