Mail carriers feared a backlash if they stopped to refill water containers. U.S. Congressman Greg Casar met with USPS management to get the issued fixed.
Casar told KENS 5 many postal workers were concerned they would face consequences if they stopped for water during their route, as it could put them behind. Casar and other lawmakers requested a response to the issue in their letter dated August 9.
After USPS failed to provide a clear answer, Casar demanded a meeting with USPS management. He spoke with KENS 5 right after that meeting held with USPS Regional Manager Tom Billington on Tuesday.
“We were hearing from constituent after constituent that they felt they were not allowed to go back to fill up their water bottle. We were hearing from letter carrier after letter carrier that the implication was that they better finish their route and better not go get water,” Casar said. “At the end of the day, you should be able to be safe on your route.”
Casar said Billington agreed to clarify USPS policy and put a new policy in writing, stating they return to their respective stations for water, or get water from the store, without facing repercussions.
“Today’s commitment from the U.S. Postal Service is a strong step in the right direction to put it in wiring that postal workers (and) letter carriers will be able to, if they run out of water, be able to go off route and buy cold water without facing negative repercussions on the job,” Casar said. “It’s really important that the policy be put in writing because not all supervisors are the same.”
Casar said he expected that policy to be written in the next few days. At the same time, he said Billington did not agree to resume providing bottled water.