Postal workers vote in favour of strike action
POSTAL workers who deliver to South Bristol have voted overwhelmingly in favour of striking in the run-up to Christmas.
The Communication Workers Union balloted 63 staff at the Mead Street Delivery Office on whether they wanted to take industrial action against Royal Mail.
When the votes were tallied, 51 (81 per cent) said yes and 12 said no. The union has complained the office is understaffed, employees are over-worked and struggle to complete their deliveries to areas including Knowle, Hengrove and Brislington.
The CWU also alleges "bullying and harassment" from management, which Royal Mail denies.
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On Friday, the two sides will meet for the final time to find a resolution. If they cannot, the CWU will meet next Tuesday to decide when a strike would be, and for how long.
CWU Bristol branch official David Wilshire said any action would take place before Christmas.
"If this cannot be resolved on Friday, a strike is a distinct possibility," he said. "We are the only party in this who have brought a proposed solution to the table."
That proposal asks for more staff at Mead Street as an interim measure and a full investigation into allegations of bullying and harassment.
The Royal Mail said it was disappointed with the ballot result.
Spokesman Adrian Booth said: "Royal Mail is fully committed to the process of trying to resolve concerns of postal workers based at this office by continuing to follow the national jointly agreed framework with the CWU for finding solutions.
"The result of the CWU's ballot for industrial action does not change anything in this regard. We continue to call upon the CWU to address their concerns in line with our agreed processes. We urge the CWU to continue working with us to resolve these matters and we will be asking our staff to continue working as normal in the run-up to Christmas in order to safeguard Christmas deliveries to our customers."