Across the country, Royal Mail staff are working to ensure that people receive their post and parcels, including important items such as prescription medicine. The government rightly identified Royal Mail staff as key workers and the CWU voted to act as another emergency service, promising to deliver medical aid, check in on people, and support those working from home.
Royal Mail must ensure that its staff can expect to work in an environment that is safe and reduces the risk of coronavirus infection. To protect workers, the CWU has presented a series of proposals to Royal Mail, which I support. These proposals include:
- The creation of an emergency network, which would allow for greater flexibility in deliveries should the number of staff who cannot work increase in the coming weeks.
- Ensuring access to personal protective equipment for all staff, including gloves and hand sanitiser
- Only opening sorting offices where social distancing measures can be followed
- Suspending all unnecessary post, such as unsolicited flyers
- Reducing the number of days deliveries are made to each household.
In line with government guidance, it is crucial that all staff who are at-risk, or who live with someone who is at-risk, are given full pay for the 12 weeks they must spend at home. All staff over 65 should also only be working if they choose to and, if not, they should also be given full pay for the duration of this crisis.
The Royal Mail should begin implementing these proposals in the coming days to ensure that the dedication shown by its staff during this crisis is repaid.