https://www.stokesentinel.co.uk/news/st ... ay-4542499
The pandemic has had a knock-on effect on our postmen and women too
A North Staffordshire postie has hit back after residents complained of 'sporadic deliveries'.
Brian Thacker, who is a postman in Leek, says since the coronavirus pandemic began, the number of posties has fallen due to sickness and retirement.
He said: "We have had lockdown. We have had widespread sickness. At our depot in Leek we have had two people retire recently. Royal Mail is very reluctant to take on new staff because of the uncertain economic future.
"At other depots there have been posties going off sick with the virus or being put into self-isolation – again leaving less staff to do all the work.
"Several posties in the country have died from this virus."
Mr Thacker was responding to letters in The Sentinel from two writers who questioned the 'Priority Post' boxes and irregular deliveries.
He said: "The ‘priority’ is not for the mail, but for the Covid tests that people are asked to put into these certain boxes.
"It doesn’t mean the other boxes are not as important to us because they all have to be emptied in the normal way.
"That’s another job that we posties have to deal with.
"Handling Covid tests is very time-consuming, it’s not very nice and it’s dangerous work as well.
He continued: "I agree that Saturday deliveries were trialled to be cut – but only on actual letters and not on the 33 per cent rise in parcels we have had to handle since this all started.
"There are only so many hours in the day after all, and even posties like a bit of leisure time – especially at the weekend – and after having worked a six-day week.
"Working for Royal Mail is a very intense job. Don’t forget that we’ve also got winter coming up in the next few months so that will slow down the deliveries as well.
"It’s not just all about putting letters through boxes, and if and when this Covid crisis does ever end, then I’m sure that these two people would be only too happy to come into one of our depots and spend a day with us from start to finish to see how difficult and tiring the job can be.
"If these two writers applauded the NHS and key workers on a Thursday night all those weeks ago, did they not realise that Royal Mail is an essential service and that posties are key workers as well?"