Employees at the Milner Street office are refusing to work after concerns grew over a worker’s health and the lack of PPE equipment.
The Warrington Guardian reported that staff had walked out after a manager who had been “handing out workloads and van keys all week” and was admitted to hospital with “breathing difficulties” before supposedly testing positive for coronavirus.
They also reported that workers had questioned the management’s promise of a “deep clean” as being sufficient to calm their fears about becoming infected.
The CWU (Communications Union) Branch Secretary, Dave Kennedy said: “We can confirm that a potential Covid-19 incident occurred yesterday and that the majority of normal operations are currently on hold from the Warrington Milner Street Office.
“Individuals are now using the isolation process in line with advice.
“It is important that we assert at this stage that we don’t consider that the safety measures taken by our membership should be considered as industrial action.
“Rather, our members have exercised their legal right to remove themselves from a potentially hazardous situation – designed to protect their own wellbeing, their family members and the wider population of Warrington.
“On this basis, we are urging the Company to ensure that normal pay arrangements remain in place.
“Postal Workers are no different to anybody else and this is obviously a worrying time for everybody.
“The Union remains in talks with the Company over this incident and we’ll be updating our members as the position develops.”
The ECHO approached Royal Mail for a comment on today’s walkout by staff over fears for their safety.
A spokesperson said: “There is a disruption to services this morning at the Warrington Delivery office.
“We are working with our people and our CWU colleagues to resolve any areas of concern, to ensure that services are resumed as soon as possible.
“A deep clean of the office has taken place, and all staff have been assured of the PPE available to them.
“Royal Mail takes the health and safety of its colleagues, its customers and the local communities in which we operate very seriously.”
Last week the ECHO wrote about the changes to procedures that Royal Mail said they were undertaking to ensure safety for their staff and customers, which included new guidelines when it comes to handling and delivering mail during the outbreak.
These included “only one person being allowed in a Royal Mail delivery vehicle at any one time” and an extra emphasis on postal workers washing their hands when entering and leaving Royal Mail buildings.
Acting on public health authority advice, further changes included the “enhanced disinfectant cleaning of communal areas in all Royal Mail sites on a daily basis” and customer signatures no longer required and parcels too big to fit through a letterbox will be placed outside the door.