The Workers Union has asked company chiefs to ‘protect our posties.’
In a statement released this morning, a spokesperson for the organisation said: ‘Postal workers are the beating heart of this country’s communications industry. They go out in all weathers to deliver parcels and letters so the rest of us can stay connected. Yet many of them are subject to violence, abuse, and intimidation. This is not acceptable behaviour in any work environment – still less in situations that place workers at the mercy of the public.’
The organisation’s announcement comes after recent press reports highlighted the elevated risks faced by postal workers. In November an attack on a Royal Mail van in Ulverston, Cumbria, resulted in the driver sustaining injuries that were later treated in hospital. The police arrested a man in his 30s but at the time of the incident two men were still at large.
The Ulverston attack is one of a series of unrelated cases of front-line workers facing up to unacceptable risks. Earlier this year, statistics published by Royal Mail revealed that dog attacks are leaving postal workers with permanent injuries – many of which have serious long-term consequences.
In the last 12 months alone, there were 1,600 incidents, which equates to an average of 32 every week across the country. Sheffield recorded the most attacks, followed by Belfast and Tunbridge Wells. The majority of the attacks took place at front doors, but victims were also attacked in gardens, driveways, and at letterboxes.
The Workers Union Says…
This organisation has regularly drawn attention to violence against workers. And while these disgraceful actions carry on, we will continue to do so.
It seems that the sacrifices postal workers made at the height of the COVID pandemic have quickly been forgotten. It is small wonder that many of them are demanding change – either through cost-of-living increases in their pay packets or improvements in their conditions.
But real change means safety, courtesy, and respect, as much as it means money and time. Bosses must do more to protect staff from abuse by working with police forces and the general public to improve workers’ health and safety on the job.