THE United Nations has thanked postal workers for their lifeline work during the pandemic.

Deemed essential workers in the UK, posties and post office staff remain at work while many sectors like hospitality, tourism and education have told employees to stay at home.

Many have shared concerns that they are fulfilling non-essential tasks, such as handling clothing orders or other consumer goods, while others have voiced fears that they are not adequately protected from Covid-19 – something denied by bosses.

The Post Office says its branches provide a vital lifeline for banking and more during the outbreak, with in-branch measures in place to adhere to social distancing rules.

The CWU union, which represents delivery staff, said complaints about the continuing delivery of online shopping packages, marketing leaflets and other circulars are common amongst members and the Royal Mail has said that work “is a key way of keeping the country together and helping many people who may not have the option to leave their homes”.

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A spokesperson said: “We are proud of our people whenever they are able to go beyond the call of duty and help the local community in a safe way in these difficult times.”

Yesterday a UN agency sent a message of thanks to those keeping the postal network running globally. The Universal Postal Union and the UNI Global Union – an international federation – gave thanks to “all postal operators, postal unions and postal workers globally for their dedication and engagement to keeping the postal network running in times of crisis”.

They went on: “We firmly believe we will emerge from this pandemic stronger and more resilient, while proudly delivering on our mandates to serve the world’s peoples.” The agencies acknowledged “dedicated” staff and urged employers to protect personnel and customers.

Christy Hoffman, UNI Global Union general secretary, said: “In a time of social distancing, postal workers are delivering necessary provisions and connecting us to each other. The safety of these frontline employees is our first priority, and the proper implementation of these international standards will protect workers as they deliver an essential, universal service to our communities.”