UNI and UPU call for united action to protect postal workers during COVID-19 pandemic
In a joint statement, UNI Global Union and the Universal Postal Union - the UN agency for the postal sector - are urging postal operators and postal unions to put key measures in place to protect the health and safety of postal workers around the world as they continue to serve during the coronavirus health pandemic.
Christy Hoffman, General Secretary of UNI Global Union, said:
"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."
Bishar A. Hussein, Director General of the Universal Postal Union, stated:
“There can be no doubt that we are facing one of the most profound challenges to the integrity of 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.”
See the joint statement below:
UPU and UNI Global Union on postal operations during the COVID-19 pandemic
Berne, 27 March, 2020 – In times of lockdowns and reduced social and economic activity, postal services remain running as one of the pillars of society. The postal network ensures daily communication and the delivery of goods to all, even during a crisis.
The current COVID-19 pandemic illustrates why the universal postal service must be regarded as essential. When communication options available to the public are limited and free movement is restricted, the postal network reliably serves every household and provides access to a range of services, from the delivery of household items to payment solutions.
These crucial functions are kept running by dedicated postal workers across the globe.
The Universal Postal Union (UPU), as the primary forum for cooperation between postal sector players, and UNI Global Union, as the global representative for postal workers worldwide, are dedicated to ensuring that the world’s postal infrastructure benefits society as a whole, while safeguarding and protecting the well-being of postal workers.
The Universal Postal Union and UNI Global Union are making every effort to support postal operators and postal unions so that they may take an informed and pro-active approach to safeguarding the health of postal workers and customers.
We urge postal operators and postal unions to:
- Inform all postal workers about the risks of infection, the importance of the use of personal protective equipment, and maintaining hygiene standards.
- Provide postal workers with personal protective equipment, to disinfect workplaces, work tools and vehicles regularly, and to adapt workplaces to achieve the recommended social distancing needed to prevent virus transmission at all postal facilities.
- Act to lower the risks of community infections by providing postal workers with the opportunity and time to follow hygiene procedures, to self-isolate as required and take compensated sick leave as may be provided for by applicable work place rules.
- Adopt processing and delivery methods tailored to mitigating the risks of infection.
Working together with all relevant stakeholders is key to stopping the spread of the virus, saving lives, and building resilient postal operations that provide reliable services during the current crisis and beyond.
The UPU and UNI Global Union are working on a global level to help the postal community face the current challenges together.
The UPU and UNI Global Union thank all postal operators, postal unions and postal workers globally for their dedication and engagement to keeping the postal network running in times of crisis. We firmly believe we will emerge from this pandemic stronger and more resilient, while proudly delivering on our mandates to serve the world’s peoples.