People isolating in their homes due to the coronavirus pandemic have criticised Australia Post for again failing to deliver packages.
Angry customers have posted on Facebook they have been working from home like many people in the country, but still hear no attempt from a postie to knock on the door. Instead they receive ‘sorry we missed you’ cards.
“This is unacceptable,” one wrote on Facebook on April 11.
“I was home all day Thursday, Friday and Saturday thanks to my workplace closing like many due to COVID. I heard no door buzzer or no door knock whatsoever.
“We had a delivery of a case of beer from family because of all government advice to practise social distancing and non-essential travel. Now we have to go into a post office ... surrounded by people.”
Another disgruntled customer said she had seven parcels delivered in the past few weeks and not one made it into her house without her having to go to the post office.
“I have been home (like everyone else in Australia) and they only slip the note under my door and don’t even knock and attempt delivery,” she said.
“I also even left a note on the door kindly asking them to knock louder (knowing full well they don’t even knock, but I’m trying to be polite) and they haven’t even done that.”
A different customer also claimed she was “really disappointed” after watching a postie squeeze a small parcel into the mailbox and “without hesitation” leave a collection card informing her she needed to pick up a separate parcel from the post office.
“Like if he had gotten off his bike and walked to my front door ... he would have noticed that the front door was open and that I was home,” she said.
“So the problem I now have is that I’m in self-isolation due to me being a dialysis patient with mobility issues. There is no way I’m venturing out.
“How lazy can [Australia Post] workers be?”
Postal workers ‘under incredible pressure’
According to Shane Murphy, national president of the CEPU Communications Union, postal workers are under “incredible pressure” with a huge increase in deliveries as a result of COVID-19.
“Also due to the social distancing issues posties have had to change their start times in some locations. That has affected the delivery service,” he told Yahoo News Australia in a statement.
He claimed management was also hindering the delivery service by placing extra pressure on posties to deliver what they can in normal hours and return to their delivery centre with product that hasn’t been delivered.
“The refusal to allow overtime in many delivery centres and in those areas where workers are working extra hours, they are being questioned on why the postie is taking longer than normal hours,” he said.
“This is despite Australia Post now running above peak. Serious questions need to be asked of Post bosses.”
Mr Murphy said posties were doing everything they could to ensure post was delivered as efficiently as possible.
“There is no incentive whatsoever for an Australia Post worker not to deliver a parcel to a doorstep, however of course there are sometimes things which can prevent that, such as safety issues,” he said.
“What is sometimes forgotten is that Australia Post also engages contractors to deliver parcels on their behalf. The contracting model is plagued by conditions that may force the worker to cut corners to make ends meet, leaving Post customers feeling frustrated.
“It also puts unnecessary strain on our members in post offices trying to keep up with queues outside their doors. The only winner in this scenario is Post’s bottom line.”
Mr Murphy said posties overall were putting themselves in harm’s way to ensure everyone, particularly those vulnerable in the community, were getting what they needed.
Severe delays on the letters and parcels network
Australia Post told Yahoo News Australia in a statement it was seeing a large increase in parcel volumes that were similar to busy periods like Christmas and Boxing Day and Black Friday sales.
“Due to significant reductions in air freight capacity, there will be severe delays on the letters and parcels network that Australia Post operates around the country, particularly to regional and rural communities.”
The spokesperson said posties were working harder than ever to delivery mail and parcels safely, and were required to knock at the door three times and call out before leaving a card or safe-dropping the parcel.
“Sometimes they will leave a card without knocking because of access or safety issues – this could happen even when a customer is home,” they said.
“We are observing social distancing in all our outlets and facilities and have implemented extra safety measures to protect anyone who may need to go in-store.
“However, these measures also mean that we are unable to simply put on more people, like we would do during peak Christmas periods.
“We ask and thank our customers for their patience, and assure them that we’re working as hard as we can to get parcels to them as quickly as possible.”
Australia Post parcel volumes up 80 per cent
In the past four weeks parcel volumes have almost doubled, and are up by 80 per cent on last year.
Australia Post says it’s due to more people shopping online as they self-isolate.
Posties are delivering around 1.8 million parcels a day and Australia Post said its workers, like everyone else, are required to practise social distancing.
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