http://www.union-news.co.uk/cwu-calls-f ... lic-hands/
The CWU has called for Royal Mail to be taken into public hands during the coronavirus crisis and has said all unsafe workplaces should be closed immediately.
The union has also demanded personal protective equipment (PPE) must be available for all workers, everyone aged over 65 should only work if they are happy to, anyone in the “vulnerable” category or with “at risk” people at home should be sent home on full pay for twelve weeks and daily deliveries reduced to three times a week.
It comes as other unions are expressing concerns about members continuing work on building sites, in factories, warehouses and in call centres.
In a message to members, the government and the media, CWU general secretary Dave Ward and deputy general secretary Terry Pullinger wrote: “The company should immediately introduce an emergency network based on the following principles:-
• if PPE is not in place for all employees, or in any workplace, then that office should cease its operations until the equipment has been provided to all employees. This includes gloves and hand sanitisers.
• if social distancing measures are not in place, in line with the government advice (2 metres apart), then the office should be closed until this is rectified. Additional measures in this statement are designed to support the introduction of strict social distancing in every Royal Mail Group workplace.
• the company should cease acting as a commercial operation and instead operate as a vital national service, in line with the government giving postal workers key worker status.
• all unaddressed advertising mail should be immediately suspended.
• the government contracts enabling public testing and the delivery of government information to the public must be prioritised.
• in conjunction with the government we should look to maximise the opportunity for Royal Mail’s unrivalled infrastructure to be utilised in helping the country deal with the coronavirus crisis. This could include checking on the elderly and vulnerable to flag up any concerns, collecting and delivering food parcels and likewise with medical prescriptions and equipment.
• as a strictly one-off resolution to the current crisis, daily deliveries should be reduced to three times a week with only parcels/packets and first class mail being delivered on alternate days.
• Royal Mail should make an immediate public statement on the above mentioned introduction of an emergency network.
• all employees should only be compelled to work alternate days there by cutting in half the amount of people in any operational unit on any one day, this to enable strict social distancing and total equipment cleansing prior to each day.
• every effort should now be made to secure the testing of RMG employees to identify and respond to high risk in all units.
• everyone over 65 should only be at work if they are happy to do so and if not should be placed on Special Leave with Full Pay for the duration of the crisis.
• all vulnerable/at risk employees as identified by Public Health England advice should all now be on full pay for absences relating to coronavirus.
• all employees with vulnerable/at risk people at home should be allowed 12 weeks on full pay.
• where someone within the work location has been diagnosed with the virus, the workplace should be shut for a deep clean before re-opening for business.
• The use of private cars as a contingency measure should cease.
• agency workers should only be used in the event that there is a genuine shortfall in the alternative working daily resourcing and the prioritised delivery of 1st & 2nd Class USO Mail and parcels. (all agency must meet strict vetting criteria).
We believe the above emergency service principles should be introduced immediately. We are available to discuss with you any alternative suggestions that protect our members, help minimise the spread of the virus, whilst maximising Royal Mail as an emergency service to help the country.