Key House Panel Approves Maloney Bill to Rename Grand Central Station Post Office After Vincent Sombrotto

May 21, 2014
Press Release

~Sombrotto was a trailblazing labor leader for letter carriers who fought for wage increases, started National NALC food drive, and initiated Carrier Alert~

WASHINGTON –  A key house panel today green-lighted a proposal (HR 2291) by Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12) to rename Grand Central Station Post Office, located at 450 Lexington Avenue in New York, New York the “Vincent R. Sombrotto Post Office.” Maloney is the second highest ranking Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform committee, which unanimously approved the bill.

“I’m so pleased this legislation is moving forward. Vincent Sombrotto was an outstanding leader of the National Association of Letter Carriers who did so much to make sure that letter carriers were treated with the respect and dignity they deserve and renaming the post office at Grand Central would be a fitting tribute to Mr. Sombrotto’s life and career,” said Maloney. As the President of the National Association of Letter Carriers, Mr. Sombrotto helped move letter carriers into the middle class by successfully securing wage increases and made sure that letter carriers got the labor protections they deserve,” said Maloney. “Mr. Sombrotto also initiated the life-saving Carrier Alert program and the NALC food drive, which continues to be held on the Second Saturday of every May. To date, the food drive has provided more than 1.2 billion pounds of food for communities throughout the United States, with letter carriers collecting non-perishable food individuals and families leave in their mailboxes.”

Fredric Rolando, President of the National Association of Letter Carriers, cheered on the legislation.

“Vince Sombrotto was an extraordinary leader for the dedicated letter carriers of the United States Postal Service. He fully understood the value they provide to our economy and our society, and he played an historic role in assuring that this value be recognized in the treatment accorded letter carriers. It is worth noting that like many members of the National Association of Letter Carriers, Vince traded his military uniform for a letter carrier's uniform -- and he carried out his duties in both uniforms in honorable fashion. We appreciate the tireless efforts of Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney in working to recognize this extraordinary leader,” Rolando said.

An act of Congress is required to rename a postal facility. The bill must now be considered on the floor of the House of Representatives and by the United States Senate.

About Vincent Sombrotto:

Born in New York City in 1923, Vincent R. Sombrotto joined what was then the Post Office Department in 1947 as a part-time letter carrier after serving with distinction in the U.S. Navy in World War II. He served as a rank-and-file letter carrier at Grand Central Station in New York City. Later, as president of NALC from 1978 to 2002, Mr. Sombrotto worked to increase letter carrier wages, moving them from poverty level to middle class. To this day letter carriers benefit from Mr. Sombrotto’s commitment to the wage increases.

In 1992, he began the NALC food drive which has developed into the country’s biggest one-day food drive.  Held on the second Saturday every May, it has to date, provided more than 1.2 billion pounds of food for banks in communities throughout the United States, with letter carriers collecting non-perishable food individuals and families leave in their mailboxes.

As a firm believer in civic responsibility, Mr. Sombrotto and the NALC worked with the United States Postal Service and emergency services organizations to establish Carrier Alert. This nationwide program allows carriers to perform heroic and humanitarian deeds on their routes including saving lives, finding missing children, looking over the elderly, and stopping crimes.

Mr. Sombrotto passed away January 2013 and is survived by his wife, Rae, seven grown children, and 14 grandchildren.