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Postal service defends policy for workers with DUI

Postal service defends policy for workers with DUI



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SALT LAKE CITY -- The U.S. Postal Service is defending itself against a report saying employees with DUIs still are allowed to deliver mail, by walking instead of driving.

The postal service says yes, sometimes it does let a mail carrier walk a route instead of drive it if they have had a DUI. But the service says it's required under the law, and taxpayers do not foot the bill.

A postal service regional spokesman says if an employee gets a DUI and their license is suspended, the organization must do certain things.

"The postal service has to follow our labor agreement which includes binding arbitration that the postal service has to find them work," said Brian Sperry via telephone from Denver.

Sperry says sometimes that work is in another branch or office, but sometimes they put out a concrete slab and mailbox where the mail carrier can pick up the mail and walk the route instead of drive it. Sperry says that costs a couple of hundred dollars, which is much less than hiring and training a new employee.

"Doing it this way there remains a continuity of service to our customers." Sperry said.

"We don't keep a database with that information, but talking with postal managers and I know myself having been with the postal service almost 30 years, it's rare, it's a rare occurrence. It does happen but it's rare."

Sperry says the organization will certainly work with Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, and others who are critical of the way the postal service does things. He also wants people to know that the organization has not received taxpayer dollars for operation since 1982.

E-mail: mrichards@ksl.com

Mary Richards

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