U.S. Postal Service says vaccine guidelines might gradual mail deliveries

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The U.S. Postal Service is requesting the Biden administration’s COVID-19 vaccine necessities for federal staff be quickly waived for its 650,000 staff, saying imposing the foundations might jeopardize its means to ship the mail.  

The warning from Deputy Postmaster General Douglas Tulino got here in a letter dated Tuesday to the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA. 

The emergency momentary normal requiring staff be vaccinated in opposition to COVID-19 or present a damaging take a look at weekly would “likely to result in the loss of many employees — either by employees leaving or being disciplined,” Tulino said within the written request.

The USPS — a authorities establishment that operates independently — is asking that OSHA prolong by 120 days the compliance deadline for the employee vaccine guidelines till courts have rendered a closing resolution. 

“Requiring the Postal Service to absorb what could inevitably be a dramatic loss of employees at a time when the labor market is extremely tight and in the middle of the Postal Service’s peak season would have a potentially catastrophic impact on our ability to provide service to the American public,” Tulino said. 

The request drew a robust rebuke from Representative Gerald Connolly, a Democrat from Virginia who’s sponsoring laws to overtake the USPS in Congress.

“As the omicron variant rips through communities the United States Postal Service and Postmaster [Louis] DeJoy have chosen to play politics with the lives of our postal workers and every customer they serve. Vaccines save lives. Sick postal workers, not shots in arms, is what will hurt the Postal service and customers. Fire DeJoy,” the congressman declared in an emailed assertion.


USPS hikes costs and slows deliveries

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The potential showdown between the White House and one of many authorities’s largest businesses comes forward of the Supreme Court listening to arguments on the problem on Friday.

“OSHA received the letter and is preparing a response in accordance with the agency’s rules,” a spokesperson for the Department of Labor informed CBS MoneyWatch in an electronic mail. 

USPS didn’t reply to a request for remark. While different federal businesses have reported vaccination charges of 90% and better, the postal service made clear in its letter to OSHA that it wasn’t but set as much as monitor vaccination standing and testing outcomes for its staff at 30,000 places throughout the nation. 

OSHA issued its normal in early November and located compliance to be possible for workplaces with 100 or extra staff. 

“OSHA’s mission is to ensure every working person in the country has safe and healthy working conditions. In keeping with that mission, our goal is to help make sure every employer complies with this standard to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus on the job and keep their workers safe,” the Labor Department spokesperson stated. 

The vaccine requirement is scheduled to take impact January 10, however OSHA has stated it will not begin imposing the brand new mandate till February 9. 

The National Association of Letter Carriers and the American Postal Workers Union didn’t reply to requests for remark. 

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