Post Offices have seen a great change in daily business during the Covid-19 pandemic, according to Sean Donnelly, Branch Secretary of the Longford Postal Union. But the essential workers have taken it in their stride.
“An Post and the union have come together to ensure the safety of the workers and members of the public,” Mr Donnelly explained
“We have to practice social distancing at all times and, as we have 30 plus staff in our office, it is not an easy task to do. The company arranged for staggered starting times to ensure social distancing is easier. The company also provides us with gloves and masks to ensure we as workers are kept safe.”
Staff don’t hand parcels or scanners to customers, so as to minimise contact, and vans are disinfected every morning and when staff log out of their vans.
“The cleaner’s hours have gone up considerably as she has to disinfect the counters for the public and staff every hour and to ensure the DSU is cleaned to a very high standard to prevent the spread of the virus,” said Sean.
“The counter has had changes to starting times. They now open early on a Friday from eight in the morning to accommodate the pensioners and protected glass was also installed between each station to protect staff.”
The postal staff are doing community calls and picking up shopping and letters from people that are cocooning at this time.
They are also now posting newspapers.
“People that are over the age of 70 can now avail of free delivery service,” said Sean.
“They can get their mail and parcels collected from their home and posted free of charge. There are daily updates from our branch manger and dsm on how we protect ourselves in our duties.”