Worker safety is at the forefront as package handling businesses such as the U.S. Postal Service beef up staffing levels to deal with demand.
The USPS is hiring an additional 28,000 seasonal workers for the holidays. It’s part of a more aggressive approach to staffing that began several months ago as the Postal Service carries out a ten-year improvement plan following a bailout from Congress. A directive handed down this summer demanded postal locations around the country to have enough equipment on hand to keep workers safe and warm come winter.
Richard Haefner leads Minnesota’s Postal Workers Union and says it gives him hope that the USPS is improving working conditions.
“The reflectorized vests, nitrile gloves, hand warmers, all the winter supplies. They just wanted to make sure that everything got ordered far enough ahead, so that if there was a supply chain problem, we’d still have the supplies in time for when the weather goes bad.”
The Postal Regulatory Commission says the USPS failed to meet service performance targets for 2021, and last year was the seventh in a row that no first-class product category achieved its service performance target