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Postal workers not part of a conspiracy

DEAR EDITOR:

I wish to correct disturbing misinformation that has gained traction on social media recently.

Some folks are posting online about U.S. postal workers being exempt from President Biden’s mandate requiring federal workers be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus. The insinuation is that the nation’s 640,000 postal workers must be some part of a devious plot that dictates others must “get the jab” but “protects” USPS employees from doing the same.

The fact is USPS is part of the executive branch of the U.S. government. That means USPS workers are federal employees; however, they are not mandated to get the vaccination under President Biden’s order for other federal workers simply because of the unique status of the agency as “independent.” USPS receives no taxpayer funding for normal operations. That includes payroll, even though its employees are feds.

It’s the same reason that postal employees still work during a government shutdown, or when a president gives other federal employees extra days off around holidays or when the weather is bad. Postal workers still are at work, not being kept from the swift “completion of their appointed rounds.”

The hard-working employees of the United States Postal Service are folks who live and work in every community of our nation. They reflect the diversity of the rest of the country in their race and religion, as well as political beliefs. They are your friends, neighbors and relatives. They are not your enemies.

Postal workers could still fall under the mandate for employers of over 100 employees, which may require them to be tested or vaccinated. That emergency rule has not yet been finalized by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration. Until it is, exactly what requirements will apply to postal workers has not yet been determined.

It is all a bit confusing for sure, but it is not a conspiracy.

JIM VARNER

Director, Motor Vehicle Craft

American Postal Workers Union Local 443

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