Post Office to relax for a few days
Aug. 14 is designated as a delivery-free day by the national postal service, with reduced service that day and the day before.
The concept was first suggested by unions representing employees at CJ Logistics, Hanjin Express, Lotte Global Logistics and Logen. Their employees will be off for four days, from the Aug. 14 through 17. The 17th is a special holiday declared by the national government.
The intention is to give the couriers a break after months of hard work due to the pandemic.
During the post office's semi-vacation, workers will show up, but their workload will be reduced. Korea Post will not accept parcels containing frozen and fresh foods, and only packages deemed essential can be mailed.
“We've requested cooperation to companies that send out the largest volumes of parcels, asking them to send out packages before or after the holiday,” Korea Post wrote in a statement. “For orders placed on the 13th and 14th, we will notify customers ahead of time that the delivery will be postponed until the 17th.”
Korea Post had originally rejected the plan, under the mail-never-stops principle. But the Korean Postman Workers' Union pushed, arguing that deliveries that have been outsourced to private companies would have to be handled by postal workers on these days.
Mail workers will be on the job on the 14th and will complete ordinary mail deliveries, but Korea Post pledged to not overburden them with work.
On July 18, President Moon Jae-in wrote that “even if packages are delivered late, I wish for happiness altogether.”
“I agree with President Moon’s statement. Please wish the parcel service workers well as they go on their breaks after enduring heavy work schedules amid the coronavirus outbreak,” said Park Jong-seok, head of the Postal Service Group at Korea Post.
BY KIM KYUNG-HEE [firstname.lastname@example.org]