Post Office workers to decide on strike

14-08-2006

Postal workers will this week vote to determine whether a mass walkout should be staged at three of the country's largest Royal Mail distribution centres in protest at new working practices.

More than 1,000 members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) at sorting offices in Essex, London, and Nottingham, are debating whether strike action is the best course of action after the Post Office introduced new policies designed to speed up the distribution of mail to large companies.

If the strike does get the go-ahead, the entire country's postal system could suffer as a result, but the Post Office has defended its new working practices by reiterating that no jobs had and would be lost as a result.

However, Terry Pullinger, assistant secretary at the CWU, accused the firm of "sheer blood mindedness" in its determination to make the changes despite their apparent lack of support among employees.

"The situation represents an outbreak of anger and frustration towards an employer who is using the challenges that our industry faces to avoid meaningful negotiations or consultation with the recognised trade union, and in doing so is failing to take on board the views and concerns of its employees," he said.

Mr Pullinger claimed that the Post Office was running the risk of sowing "distrust, suspicion and lack of mutual respect" if it continued with the new working practices.

The Post Office has since reiterated that any prospective strike action is "unnecessary".


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