A forklift driver for the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) was reportedly fired after allegedly having sex with a male supervisor in the mailroom.
The story, which first broke in the New York Times on Friday, comes as a major controversy erupted over the way postal employees are treated, and the way that the agency handles allegations of sexual misconduct.
The Times says that the worker, who was not identified, is an experienced operator who has worked in the post office for the past nine years.
The Postmaster General’s office has yet to respond to a request for comment.USPS spokesperson Lisa DeMarco says that she has not seen the Times story and has not heard of the alleged incident.
She says that a decision about the termination is being made.USP spokesman Adam Besser says that this is a matter for the Postmaster-General’s office.
The union representing forklift operators says the incident is a blow to the profession.
“It’s just outrageous,” says David J. Brown, president of the National Association of Forklift Operators.
“This is an industry that has been very successful for decades and that’s been driven by the union.”
Judd Schwartz, the president of National Nurses United, says the agency needs to hire more women.
He says that’s why the union is calling for a meeting between postal leaders and the postmaster general, as well as other government officials.
We need a new president, a new union, to rein in the Post Office and get a new vision, he says.
“The union is making a concerted effort to get these things addressed, and it’s a little bit embarrassing that they are taking so long.”
The union represents about 400,000 forklift workers across the country, with a membership of about 300,000.
The agency says it’s reviewing the claims of the worker.US Postal Service photo by Jeff BottariThe Post Office’s spokesman says that because the matter is still under investigation, he could not provide more information.USPO spokeswoman Lisa DeLuca says that while there is an investigation underway, it is not yet known whether any of the allegations were true.USPTU president David J Brown says the union was “disappointed and dismayed” that the supervisor involved was not disciplined.
“This is a huge issue and the people that are involved need to step up and do their job,” he says, adding that the union would be calling for the resignation of the Post’s new chief of operations.
“We have to change how we work with each other.
That’s the way it’s supposed to be.”
The Post has a long history of dealing with sexual harassment complaints and it is one of the few federal agencies that does not routinely investigate employees’ complaints.
According to a study by the American Association of University Women, more than 40 percent of female postal employees who complained to the agency in 2015 reported having experienced harassment.
In 2013, a study of more than 1,000 female postal workers found that about 30 percent reported being sexually harassed.
In March, a federal appeals court upheld a decision by the Postal Service to suspend an investigation into sexual harassment claims made by a worker at the Washington, D.C., agency.
The ruling was widely criticized, with many claiming that it had no real impact on the agency’s practices.