POSTIES IN A PANDEMIC
The Lockdowns of 2020 were harsh! Many were able to work from home, some remained at home whilst on furlough, many other people and industries have been hit hard.
Redundancies have been made and many have fell through the gaps of the governments various bail out packages. I managed to get work as a Casual Worker for the Royal Mail.
As we signed in for a shift begining of February we were advised all work would stop at 6.30pm for 2 minutes to pay our respects to two members of staff who had tragically died from Coronavirus within one week of each other, this was quickly followed the very next week with another member of Royal Mail staff passing and another 2 minutes silence to ackowlegde this tragic event.
The sense of loss for these three members of staff, all middle aged working class men in their 50's, one Black, one White and one from Asian heritage, was shared by Royal Mail collegues, many of which were exhausted as they had worked relentlessly through-out the entire pandemic since the initial lockdown in March 2020.
There were times when over 150 Royal Mail staff were off sick with covid or self isolating. The Casual workers who were now employed by Angard on a zero hours basis, with salaries reduced to minimum wage and deductions taken for breaks, were doing the hard labour.
It has become very clear to me why employers using zero hours contract staff has rightly become such a contentious issue in the media. And it is of a great concern how will zero hours contracts be used as we rebuild our workforce as the country recovers from the pandemic?