The U.S. Postal Service has asked the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for “temporary relief” from the administration’s vaccination mandate for organizations with more than 100 workers.
“The Post Office’s request for extra time in carrying out the [mandate] is directly related to our critical and unique role in American life, “said a January 4 letter to OSHA from Doug A. Tulino, deputy postmaster general and chief human resources officer.
The USPS provided a copy of the letter to The Washington Times.
Mr. Tulino’s letter stated that the agency is in the midst of its “Peak Season,” a period that runs from mid-October to January, a period during which he is “our busiest and most challenging time of the year. “and not just because of the holiday packages.
The Postal Service also provides “critical items such as treasury checks, COVID-19 tests and pharmaceuticals. In addition, mail and parcel delivery can make the American people spend more time safely at home, rather than frequently overcrowded facilities inside, which is beneficial to public health,” he said.
A quasi-government corporation founded in 1971, the Postal Service has nearly 650,000 workers in 30,000 locations across the country.
The agency said it did not have enough staff to meet the requirements of the fax mandate, especially in terms of record keeping and compliance with the eight agreements for collective bargaining that the USPS has with various unions.
“The Postal Service is seeking temporary relief because it wants to ensure that its ability to deliver mail and parcels is not hampered amid the current disruptions in the nation’s supply chain,” a USPS statement said.
The agency also requested “a temporary order allowing the organization to continue using its current COVID-19 mitigation policies and protocols while resolving the temporary request for assistance.”
The Nov. 5 Biden administration’s mandate has been challenged in federal district courts across the nation, and the Supreme Court is expected to hear arguments on lawsuits seeking to reverse the mandate on Friday, January 7.
On Monday, Judge Reed O’Connor of the District Court of Texas for the Northern District of Texas blocked the Department of Defense from taking action against Navy SEALs and others seeking religious exemptions from the department’s fax mandate.
The Times contacted two of the USPS’s workers’ organizations, the American Postal Workers Union, and the National Association of Letter Carriers, for comment on the agency’s request for an exemption.