Postal Workers during the Coronavirus Pandemic

Johnathan Cordero, Opinion and Features Editor

Pictures of a 2 ton truck, used for delivering mail, packages, and for collection of mail from the blue boxes found on the street.

 

 

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They have taken many safety measures such as staggering starting times to decrease the number of employees working at a time. They also have the janitors wash out the postal vehicles with clorox. They are also providing hand sanitizer and clorox spray to clean off your case where you get the mail together and frequently touched services. They rearrange the post office so the carriers can be at least six feet apart.”

— Henry Cordero

Covid-19 has caused many establishments and recreational areas to shut down to avoid large gatherings and ensure people keep to social distancing. Although these places have ceased to open, essential workers such as officers, fire fighters, medical workers, and neighborhood mail carriers have continued to risk their lives everyday they continue to go to work.

 

Mail carriers are one of the jobs that require workers to be on the front line, or in harm’s way, during this pandemic. In order to better protect the carriers, postal management has taken certain safety measures to help prevent the spread of Covid-19. 

 

Ask 20-year- employee Beverly Hills Mail Carrier/ President of NALC Branch 2293 Henry Cordero. “They have taken many safety measures such as staggering starting times to decrease the number of employees working at a time. They also have the janitors wash out the postal vehicles with clorox. They are also providing hand sanitizer and clorox spray to clean off your case where you get the mail together and frequently touched services. They rearrange the post office so the carriers can be at least six feet apart.” 

   

Aside from these numerous preventative measures, the important question still stands, is the postal service offering free Covid-19 testing? Cordero replies, “Not at this time because of the financial burden that the post office is going through because of mail decrease caused by Covid-19.” 

 

   An additional question is, has anyone in your post office tested positive for Covid-19? “Not at my post office, but there have been over 500 positive cases nationwide and sadly 60 employees have passed away from the virus including 14 city letter carriers.” City letter carriers being postal workers who deliver mail, packages, etc. These statistics were most likely a contribution to the employees that are at home under quarantine due to potential exposure to their fellow colleagues who tested positive, according to GovExec.com

 

   More than 75,000 employees have signed an online petition calling for Postmaster General Megan Brennan to “ensure rights and safety for employees”. The petition creator, Alex, adheres to these statements. “By continuing to work as normal, postal employees are put at a great risk of contracting the virus and/ or spreading it to customers, according to GovExec.com, once more.

  

  The lack of hazard pay probably prompts less people to attend work as well. When asked if mail carriers were receiving hazard pay Henry Cordero says, “ Not at this time because Congress hasn’t voted on a bill that would give us 13 more dollars an hour, until the pandemic is gone. Even if Congress passed the bill, President Trump has to sign it into law. So it is not guaranteed.” 

 

  

  Either way, we should appreciate the mail carriers putting their lives on the line for us every time they put on their unmistakable uniforms.