[Anchor Lead]Reports of tough working conditions for postal workers have caused controversy, after four mail carriers died this year alone. Many of the problems related with their working conditions have been confirmed in a government study. Let's find out more.[Pkg]A post office in Chungcheongnam-do Province saw two of its mail carriers suddenly die in the first half of this year alone. Testimonies continued that longer working hours are the cause of their sudden death, as they worked more than eleven hours a day on average.[Soundbite] (Family Member of Dead Mail Carrier (Voice modified)) : "He went to work at 7 a.m. and returned home at 7 or 8 p.m. He even worked at home to sort out what he should be delivered the following day."According to a study of four post offices in Chungcheong provinces conducted by the Ministry of Employment and Labor, mail carriers work 57 more hours a month on average than legal working hours. In particular, mail carriers of Asan Post Office, the employer of the two dead postmen, work 64 hours more a month than the legal limit. Despite the heavy workload, they took only 2.7 days off on average from their annual paid leave.[Soundbite] (Mail Carrier (Voice modified)) : "If someone is absent, we have to do more work to cover him. So it is true that our workload increases."The ministry, which conducted a study on the working conditions of mail carriers, says it is true that they work longer, but it is not illegal under the current law.[Soundbite] Kim Jong-shin(Daejeon Employment and Labor Office) : "There is an exception to the limit of working hours for some certain occupations. The exception applies to mail carriers under the communication law."The ministry asked the Korea Post Service to improve the working conditions of mail carriers and guarantee their rights to holidays through greater labor recruitment and workload adjustment.
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