17 Aug 2022

Calls for an 'urgent deep clean' of Derry's postal sorting office after large number of Covid-19 cases among staff

Royal Mail asked to take immediate action to reassure employees

sorting office derry

The sorting office at Great James Street in Derry.

SDLP MLA Mark H Durkan has written to Royal Mail, calling for an urgent deep-clean of Derry’s Sorting Office and assurances that staff will be protected upon their return to work.

The call follows a stand-off of Derry’s Royal Mail staff this morning as a result of a large number of positive Covid-19 within the premises.

Mr Durkan said: “The past few weeks feels like groundhog day and it would seem that lessons have not been learnt.

"In April, I made the same call for protections for Royal Mail staff and received assurances that a strict health and safety framework was in place.

“I cannot accept that six months down the line our postal workers- the unsung heroes of this pandemic – have been put at risk.

"They are currently operating on just two thirds of their workforce due to COVID related absences.

"The fast rising infection rates since Friday is a huge cause of concern and I fully back staff calls for a deep-clean of their workplace and would ask that management implement more stringent protections, as it is clear the current model has not gone far enough."

A Royal Mail spokesperson said: “We send our best wishes for a speedy recovery to those colleagues who have contracted Covid-19.

"Throughout the pandemic, we have implemented contingency plans to keep delivering letters and parcels.

"Despite our best endeavours, it is possible that some areas may experience a reduction in service levels due to Coronavirus-related absences at their local mail centre or delivery office.

"We always endeavour to keep our customers as informed as we can of any changes to our services."

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