Postal workers on strike in south Bristol
POSTAL workers at a Bristol delivery depot are striking today over a dispute with Royal Mail.
The Commercial Workers Union (CWU) confirmed on Saturday that staff at the Mead Street depot in Bedminster would be striking for 24 hours from 12.01am today.
Bristol CWU official David Wilshire said the action would mean no deliveries would be made from the depot. He said that almost 100 employees were due to strike in the action over staff being over-worked and struggling to make their deliveries in the time allocated for them. And he has not ruled out further action before Christmas if the issues remain unresolved.
Mr Wilshire said: "We have been speaking to Royal Mail now for about 12 months on various issues and they have refused to change their position for the whole of that period.
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"Even despite the fact there was an 81 per cent yes vote for strike action they have refused to take it seriously up to last week. There are just short of 100 people in the office – we will expect them all to strike.
"We have consulted them every week for the past year and they are the ones that said enough is enough. They are just sick and tired of telling managers on a daily basis that they cannot cope with their deliveries.
"I think early next week another day of action will be announced as we have to give seven days' notice that will bring us nearer to Christmas."
Royal Mail spokesman Nick Martens said: "We met with the Communication Workers Union in London this week in an effort to resolve issues of concern at the Mead Street delivery office.
"'We agree with the union the need to replan the duties within the office to ensure a sustainable operation which provides a reliable service for customers.
"We asked the union to meet with us at ACAS rather than take industrial action and we regret that this offer was refused."
He said staff at Mead Street were being asked to work as normal today but added that Royal Mail had contingency plans to deliver post in the BS4 and BS14 postcode areas if staff were taking action.
Managers throughout the South West and beyond are being called upon to help deliver mail in the area.
Mr Martens said Royal Mail's helpline on 08457 740 740 and website at www.royalmail.com would include updates on the situation.