USPS seeks to hire retired employees, temporary workers as coronavirus takes toll on workforce

Aside from the agency’s worsening financial picture, the pandemic has taken a toll on its workforce: USPS says 111 of its employees have tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the current strain of the coronavirus. Of those, NALC said one of its members, Rakkhon Kim, a 50-year old letter carrier in New York City, died of complications from the virus on Wednesday. “We send our deepest sympathies and heartfelt thoughts and prayers to Rakkhon’s family, loved ones, friends and co-workers,” Rolando said in a statement. On Friday, the American Postal Workers Union and the Postal Service reached an agreement that would allow USPS to hire additional temporary employees through May 25. The agency would be allowed to hire mail processing assistants and clerk assistants at facilities that are “experiencing high absenteeism because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the liberal leave policy” for employees who are sick or caring for children affected by school or care facility closures. The agreement would require career employees and postal support employees to be “utilized to the maximum hours allowed.”

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