An Edinburgh postman said that staff did not feel safe at work due to a lack of PPE provided by Royal Mail.
The postman, who works in Edinburgh but doesn’t want to be named, said he and his colleagues had no access to antibacterial wipes and only had sporadic access to hand sanitizer and gloves.
“We are told that the rule of thumb is to wash your hands but when you are in delivery, everything is closed, so it is impossible to do, and it is impossible to stay two meters from one other. ” he said.
“People at home treat it like a second Christmas, so we are pounded every day with packages, which makes the spread of the virus very risky.
“This is why Royal Mail treats us so badly, they make a fortune for the shareholders and we are ducks! “
He added, “We postal workers want to work, but it has to be safe for us to work.”
The postman’s complaints were taken up by the Union of Communication Workers, who advised Royal Mail staff not to work without adequate PPE.
In a Facebook broadcast broadcast live to members on Tuesday, Secretary General Dave Ward asked workers “Do you have the right PPE in place, gloves, disinfectants …?”
If the answer is no, he said, the message from CWU is clear: “You shouldn’t be working and we will support you.” “
He added: “It should be a national service going through a national crisis – but our members are not fodder and they will not be thrown under the bus. “
A Tweet from CWU describing their response to the challenges of the Covid-19 crisis said, “Our members continued to work under difficult circumstances. Part of the lack of PPE, dirty workplaces and lack of social distancing is a shame. “
The CWU urged Royal Mail to change the nature of the service and to focus on essential deliveries during the crisis.
He called for the suspension of all non-essential D2D (unprocessed) deliveries, the prioritization of medical equipment and services for vulnerable people and the alternation of working days to reduce the number of people on site working at the same time.
A Royal Mail spokesperson said, “Royal Mail takes the health and safety of our colleagues very seriously. Throughout this crisis, every decision we make puts the health of our employees and customers first. “
They added: “The standard working methods are being revised to ensure that, as much as possible, colleagues stay within two meters of each other. We have implemented a new rule which means that there will only be one person in a Royal Mail delivery vehicle at a time.
“We have taken a number of additional measures and provided preventive advice to our colleagues in accordance with public health authorities. This includes promoting regular hand washing with soap and water.
“The hand soap we provide is effective for hand washing and good hand hygiene. We provide disposable latex gloves to colleagues who wish. These are available upon request. We also adopted daily improved disinfectant cleaning of the common areas of all Royal Mail sites. “