The Taiwan Postal Industry Union on Saturday urged its members to return their medals and commemorative stamps to protest poor treatment, calling the honors a “slap in the face” at a time when their demands are not being heard.
Postal workers have since last year been fighting on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic by shipping equipment such as sanitizer and masks, and distributing stimulus vouchers, the union said on Facebook, adding that their urgent requests have continued to go unheeded.
Postal workers have been calling for Saturdays off, shorter work hours, extended delivery times, suspension of advertising mail and payment on delivery, and COVID-19 vaccine prioritization to keep them safe, it said.
Without these allowances, 13 postal workers have to date tested positive for COVID-19, it added.
The government last year issued medals and first day covers to thank postal workers and other “behind-the-scenes heroes,” yet these “cheap honors” have done nothing to help their situation, it said, adding that he only thing the government has increased are its calls to “band together through these hard times.”
Since a nationwide level 3 COVID-19 alert was imposed last month, post offices that were short-staffed are under even greater pressure to meet surging demand for home deliveries, it said.
Distributing a new round of stimulus checks has also fallen to postal workers, who “keep getting pushed into battle for no reason other than obligation,” it added.
The Central Epidemic Command Center’s (CECC) vaccine distribution strategy, announced on Wednesday last week, left individual ministries to decide which essential staff would be included in the seventh priority group.
However, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications has only passively indicated that it would compile a list, the union said.
“The ministry is not just keeping silent, it is passing the buck for 526,000 people onto the CECC,” it said. “Is this how the ministry shows responsibility?”
The union therefore called on all postal workers to send it their medals and commemorative stamps before Wednesday.
On Friday, union representatives are to return them to the Executive Yuan as an expression of their collective outrage, it said.
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