The Universal Postal Union (UPU) and UNI Global Union have urged postal operators and unions to work together to halt the spread of COVID-19.
In a joint statement, the agencies acknowledged the dedication of workers to keep operations running, but stressed the need for operators and unions to protect the health of workers and customers.
Bishar Hussein, director general of UPU, said, “There can be no doubt that we are facing one of the most profound challenges ever faced by the international postal network. I urge postal operators in these difficult days to continue to do everything possible to protect the health of workers and customers.”
Christy Hoffman, general secretary of UNI Global Union, added, “In a time of social distancing, postal workers are delivering necessary provisions and connecting us to each other. The safety of these frontline employees is our first priority, and the proper implementation of these international standards will protect workers as they deliver an essential, universal service to our communities.”
They consist of four points: inform, provide, act and adopt.
Postal workers need to be informed about the risks of infection, and reminded about using personal protective equipment and maintaining hygiene standards.
They need to be provided with personal protective equipment, to disinfect workplaces, work tools and vehicles, and adapt workplaces for social distancing.
Act to lower risk of infections by providing postal workers with the time and opportunity to follow hygiene procedures, self-isolate and take compensated sick leave.
Workers need to adopt processing and delivery methods tailored to mitigate the risk of infections.