Burslem postal strike

CWU press release 

More than one hundred delivery workers walked out on strike this morning over a long standing dispute which has left twelve postal workers suspended since September. Picket lines will be held until 2nd January.

The twelve workers, three of whom are CWU reps and another three former reps, were suspended on 11th September following spurious complaints including ‘encouraging others not to cooperate with Royal Mail management’ and ‘misuse of position as CWU rep’. This was at a time when there was a national dispute taking place in Royal Mail which was eventually settled in October.

The suspension of the twelve delivery workers came immediately after a petition, with over seventy signatures on, regarding bullying and harassment by Royal Mail managers at the delivery office was handed in.

Royal Mail have refused CWU’s suggestion of taking this case to an independent national appeals panel. Management have instead offered to have the case decided by Royal Mail managers in an adjacent area. This offer was unanimously rejected by members at the delivery office at a meeting yesterday (Monday).

As well as industrial action over the Christmas and New Year period, the CWU is taking civil action against the managers involved.

Midlands Regional Secretary Lee Barron, said: “These are hard working employees with combined service of over 200 years and have done nothing to warrant this level of action. This is a disproportionate response by managers who have been accused of bullying and harassment and who are now refusing to allow an independent appeals panel to look at the case of these workers.

“The whole delivery office is supporting the twelve suspended workers. We will be on a picket line on Christmas Eve when we’d rather be with our families to support these workers who are being victimised by an aggressive employer.”

The CWU is seeking to resolve this dispute. The branch will be holding a meeting on 28th December and there will be a march and rally in support of those suspended workers on 19th January.