Port Jervis community rallies behind fired mail carrier with 53 years of service
The Port Jervis community is rallying behind a beloved mailman who was fired last week after more than five decades of service.
Tom Calvario, 75, has been delivering mail in the community since 1970. He was Port Jervis Mayor Kelly Decker’s mail carrier years ago, according to the mayor’s Facebook post in support of Calvario.
“Tom was my mailman back in the '70s and early '80s – a time you knew who your postman was. He still has the same route and does it with more ambition that anyone I know,” says Decker.
Community members are taking to social media to share that they're upset, and dozens attended a rally Wednesday morning outside of the Port Jervis Post Office on Sussex Street.
Calvario, who is also a military veteran, claims his problems at work started about five years ago when a new postmaster came in. He says he was disciplined for what he felt were minor infractions, like not turning his mail truck’s wheels at the right angle when delivering mail and failing to carry dog spray.
He says he was given a letter of termination for “unsatisfactory performance” on Nov. 28 after he was accused of not delivering the mail fast enough.
The postal worker says he received a written commendation from Post Master General Louis DeJoy for his exemplary service a few days prior.
“It’s kind of hard to understand how you’re an exemplary employee all this time and then, all of a sudden, I’m not good no more. It’s kind of sad,” said Calvario.
The U.S. Postal Service says it has no comment on “administrative actions.”
Postal workers are represented by the National Association of Letter Carriers.
President of Hudson Valley Merged Branch 137 Joe DeStefano says, “I have an information request into the Postal Service and we are in the process of an investigation. I have spoken to the Postal Service about moving forward with the grievance procedure surrounding Calvario’s termination.”
Decker says Calvario’s termination of employment is “preposterous.”
“A letter from my office will be going out tomorrow morning to the both local Port Jervis postmaster and our Rep. Pat Ryan,” Decker says.
Rep. Ryan tells News 12, "We've been in touch with Mayor Decker and NALC leadership, and are working to make sure Tom's right to due process is respected. I will always stand with my friends in organized labor."
A change.org petition for the fired mailman has 880 signatures as of Wednesday mid-afternoon.
Calvario says, “I love them and they love me. I just want to go back and be the mailman again.”