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Title: 'Going Postal' is a Myth

Source: Reuters, 9/1/00

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'Going Postal' is a Myth

September 1, 2000 10:51 am EST

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. mail carriers and handlers are no more prone to violence and "going postal" than other workers, a comprehensive report prepared for the U.S. Postmaster found.

The 249-page, two-year study by an independent U.S. Postal Service commission found postal workers were no more likely to physically assault, sexually harass or verbally abuse their co-workers than other employees in the U.S. workforce.

The phrase "going postal" became shorthand for employee violence several years ago after a spate of homicides by U.S. postal workers.

But that notion turned out to be a myth, said Joseph Califano, chairman of the U.S. Postal Service Commission on a Safe and Secure Workplace, and president of the National Center on Addition and Substance Abuse at Columbia University.

"'Going postal' is a myth, a bad rap causing unnecessary apprehension and fear among 900,000 postal workers," Califano said in a statement Thursday accompanying the report.

"This report should shatter the myth that postal workers are more violent than other workers and discourage the pejorative use of that expression."

The report found that postal workers were only a third as likely as others in the national workforce to be victims of homicide at work in the period from 1992 through 1998.

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