Sorting office staff threaten to go on strike

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By The Bristol Post | Wednesday, November 07, 2012, 05:00

POSTAL workers at a Bristol sorting office will vote on strike action next week in a row over staff shortages and workloads.

The Communication Workers Union announced last night that it would be sending ballot papers to 100 Royal Mail workers based at the Mead Street depot in Bedminster from next Tuesday.

The union has warned that any strike would be "likely to hit the delivery of mail in the lead up to Christmas".

Staff based at the Mead Street depot normally deliver mail to the BS4 and BS14 postcode areas, which include Brislington, Knowle, Stockwood and Hengrove.

The union claims that the situation at the sorting office has already descended into chaos, with thousands of letters and items of post left undelivered because staff shortages have left delivery rounds too big to be completed be remaining posties.

Royal Mail has blamed the problem on staff sickness and said that the backlog should be cleared up by today.

The union says it is asking members to vote on strike action "in response to the abrogation of national agreements and procedures by Royal Mail managers".

The ballot will close on November 21, with a result announced soon afterwards.

CWU Bristol branch official David Wilshire said: "These postal workers have shown tremendous restraint in not requesting a ballot previously, but now think that enough is enough and have felt the need to take a stand.

"The union will be meeting with workers at a mass meeting outside the depot next week, in order to discuss what form an acceptable resolution would take. It is then hoped that a meeting with the company will follow."

The CWU claims seven delivery staff jobs have been cut, leaving those who remain with an increasing workload.

The union says election manifestos from Bristol's mayoral candidates were among the items which were left undelivered in the sorting office over the weekend.

Mr Wilshire said: "To blame this fiasco on a minority of workers on sick leave completely misses the point that there are not enough rounds in the depot and postal workers are struggling to complete deliveries that are over-laden with mail."

Royal Mail spokesman Adrian Booth said: "Contingency plans, including assistance from Royal Mail managers over the weekend, enabled the delivery of delayed items of mail to be carried out in the BS4 and BS14 postcode area of Bristol.

"We are confident that all mail will be delivered by close of play today."

Mr Booth said that any customers with queries on deliveries should contact the Royal Mail customer services department on 0845 740740.

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Comments

       
  • Profile image for ANDYJRM

    "What should people do, work hard, never ask for time off, never get a pay rise but just be grateful they have a job?"

    Yes exactly. A payrise is something to be earned and justified by adding value to the business, not a "right".

    Time off is all good, no problem with holidays or genuine sickness. Absenteeism needs to be cracked down on hard or it becomes an endemic culture very quickly.

    I'm from the old school, where you work as hard as possible to justify your boss keeping you on, and if you want more, you work harder.

    Many people sadly think it is enough to turn up at work - it's not. About time we brought in productivity based pay for jobs like this. Those too lazy to hit productivity targets won't earn enough so will leave, and those who over-achieve will earn more. A perfect meritocracy.

    By ANDYJRM at 16:46 on 07/11/12

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  • Profile image for Morrissey9

    It may be an often used phrase, but it doesn't make it any less true. What should people do, work hard, never ask for time off, never get a pay rise but just be grateful they have a job? I bet everyone whining about strike action have plenty of perks in their jobs that were hard-won years ago and they wouldn't dream of throwing away.

    By Morrissey9 at 16:27 on 07/11/12

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  • Profile image for ANDYJRM

    "Race to the bottom" - honestly do the lefties have any new phrases to use?

    How about going into work every day, working your hardest all day every day, making the operation of your employed successful and so securing your future job security?

    Fact is, if you go to the Bedminster sorting office, you hear a bunch of clowning round, parcels being thrown etc. That is NOT work. If they are not prepared to work they don't deserve their wages and their jobs should be given to those who want to work.

    By ANDYJRM at 15:42 on 07/11/12

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  • Profile image for Morrissey9

    Wow we really are engaged in a race to the bottom. So if your job is becoming impossible to carry out, you should just quit so someone else can take it? And presumably the same goes for pay, for conditions, for benefits, for holiday etc? I think people should always try and strive to make their jobs better, otherwise we may as well go back to the old days of working 12 hour shifts Monday to Saturday for barely enough pay to feed yourself. After all, if they didn't do it, someone else always would,

    By Morrissey9 at 15:01 on 07/11/12

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  • Profile image for ANDYJRM

    If they don't like it they can leave. Welcome to 2012 - we all have to deal with working harder to meet tighter budgets and deadlines. It's not just you and your anachronistic union reps that face the challenges of cutbacks.

    Actually do us a favour and all leave. Then your jobs can be taken by harder working migrants who actually WANT to work rather than singing, shouting, play acting (we can hear all the messing round from the collection room of the sorting office) and stealing our post.

    By ANDYJRM at 14:28 on 07/11/12

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