Postal workers prepared to strike, says union
Postal workers at the Royal Mail delivery depot in Mead Street, Totterdown have voted by over 80 per cent to take strike action, according to their union.
The ballot result of 51 "Yes" votes with only 12 against represents 81 per cent for industrial action, said the Communication Workers Union.
They say strike action must be held within a four week period so will hit the Christmas mail to the BS4 and BS14 postcode areas, including Knowle, Brislington and Hengrove, if a joint resolution between Royal Mail and the Communication Workers Union is not reached.
CWU Bristol Area Official David Wilshire said: "This result shows that our members have overwhelmingly rejected the heavy handed approach of Royal Mail at this depot.
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"The company now needs to appreciate how serious the situation is and stop burying their heads in the sand.
"A final meeting will be held with Royal Mail this Friday (23 Nov). If an agreement is not reached that we feel will be acceptable to our members then we will be meeting them on Tuesday 27 November to discuss both the frequency and duration of the strike action they wish to request."
Last week The Post reported that talks were being held in a bid to halt the possible strike.
But unions said they were a “long way” from agreeing terms with the Royal Mail to solve the dispute at the Mead Street depot.
Communication Workers Union branch secretary David Wilshire said a meeting between the two sides was being held in response to union proposals calling for, among other things, more jobs, a review of deliveries and an investigation into allegations of bullying.
Mr Wilshire said that Royal Mail needed to readdress staff shortages at the depot, near Temple Meads station, and conduct a “full review” of deliveries to ensure that a backlog of undelivered mail does not build up again.
He also said that the CWU will be asking for an investigation into allegations of bullying at the depot which had been made over the past two months.
Royal Mail spokesman Adrian Booth said last week that the organisation was concerned that a ballot was being staged before other channels of solving the crisis had been explored.
He said: “We are pleased this meeting is going ahead because Royal Mail has been disappointed the Communication Workers Union is balloting staff for industrial action before taking any concerns it might have through our jointly agreed framework for resolving local issues and finding solutions. This framework works well across our company and is agreed with the Union.
“We are aware of staff concerns about operational changes we have made to some delivery rounds. There is a national agreement with the CWU on our modernisation programme covering the whole of the UK including the changes made in Bristol South East delivery office.
“These matters will be resolved within the standard framework for reaching local agreement with the Union. We urge Union representatives to continue working with us within that framework.”