Americans love a man, or woman, in uniform.  Even in the postal world. In fact, many folks would like all postal workers to have uniforms.

Five years ago we ran a blog on rural letter carriers and whether they should wear a uniform, or at least a uniformed shirt – they currently aren’t required. Given that rural routes are increasingly suburban and rural carriers more visible to the public and rural letter carriers serve as something of a post office on wheels, it seemed a logical question to ask.

The overwhelming majority of responses to that blog were in favor of uniforms for rural carriers. And we got a lot of responses: 108 and counting, with comments continuing to roll in half a decade later.

Uniforms were in the news again with a recent agreement between the U.S. Postal Service and the American Postal Workers Union (APWU), which approved a uniform allowance for career clerk employees who are assigned to a post office that is open only part-time (the so-called POStPlan offices). Prior to the agreement, they did not get uniform allowances. As one APWU official noted, “A postal uniform provides respect to the institution, respect to the customer, and respect to the postal worker performing work on behalf of the Postal Service.”

With the Postal Service employing so many temporary workers, this question of a uniform approach to uniforms isn’t going away. USPS uses non-career workers, as these temporary workers are called, throughout its operations ― 130,000 in fiscal year 2016, according to our audit on the topic. Some of these positions get a uniform allowance after a certain amount of time on the job; others do not. Of course, some positions have no contact with the general public, such as the postal support personnel that process mail in plants, making a uniform less necessary perhaps.

Where do you stand on the great uniform debate? Do you think all postal workers, whether city or rural, part-time or full-time, should wear a uniform, or at least a uniformed shirt? Or only those workers visible to the public? Is the idea of a uniform old-fashioned or a way to give employees a stronger tie to the Postal Service mission and brand? 

Comments (108)

  • anon

    I agree with you on this i been rural carrier for 35 wearing my own clothes if we had to wear a uniform i assure you the in the winter when i got to wear layers i wont have that thin uniform on

    Jul 10, 2017
  • anon

    Cca's in out offfice go up to a year without uniforms. Either cause management won't give them the vouchers to purchase them or Cca's don't know how to use it when management finally issues them a voucher. I think it's unsafe and very unprofessional. We never see a new ups or FedEx driver with street cloths delivering! Why should we, we are government and should be putting an example! But mostly for safely reasons should they be using uniforms!

    Jul 10, 2017
  • anon

    Well i m a rural carrier and i have to buy tshirts with the postal label and i spend $12 a tshirt. While other rural carriers dont buy them and then we have to look at them wearing spadex and all kind of crazy clothes. And i am saying really i cant believe they dont get told anything about their stuff hanging out. I ve been told by many customers while dont we wear a uniform? I also believe we should wear a uniform for our safety and respect for the post office.

    Jul 10, 2017
  • anon

    I'm a non career RCA. I have seen the City Carrier uniforms and have heard comments from those carriers. If you are going to require Rural Carriers to wear uniforms then please audit your current uniforms for fabric content. These need to be breathable and flexible for sitting in an overly heated delivery vehicle for 3-6 hours per shift. We need a fabric that won't stretch too much and be falling off us by the end of shift. We also need something that will wick moisture as we can get extremely sweaty during a shift on a hot day.

    Jul 10, 2017
  • anon

    Regardless if they are city carrier assistants, rural carriers or part time/full time - all of them shoul be required to wear Postal Uniforms as all of them represent USPS!!! No exceptions. Letter carriers are very trusted and lack of unifomrs cause confusion, uncertainty among customers.

    Jul 10, 2017
  • anon

    I've been a Rural Carrier since 1987. I drive my own car and don't wear a uniform. My customers are not "confused" or "uncertain" about why I'm at their house or mailbox. We are trusted and loved without a uniform. We wear ID badges to identify that we are Postal employees.

    Jul 10, 2017
  • anon

    I personally experienced customer confusion due to the lack of uniform! If customers know you - there is nothing confusing about that. However, we should think about other new rca's or ccas who are switched from route to route each day. And by the way why would we use our own cloths???

    Jul 10, 2017
  • anon

    well said and i totally agree with you.

    Jul 10, 2017

Pages

Recent Comments

  • 1 day 2 hours ago
    Hello Steve, Your comment has been forwarded to our hotline team. In the meantime, we recommend filing an online whistleblower complaint on our website. Thank you for your comment.
  • 1 day 2 hours ago
    Hello, If the package is coming from overseas and is subject to duties, the addressee must pay them as well as processing and handling fees. Hopefully, this helps answer your question, have a...

Monthly Archive