Up to 500 postal workers walked out on unofficial strike at Edinburgh’s mail centre last weekend in a dispute over new working practices and management bullying.
Willie Marshall, the branch secretary of Scotland No2 branch which covers Edinburgh, told Socialist Worker, “This was a spontaneous stoppage which took place when five workers felt they were suffering bullying and harassment from management.
“New working practices had been imposed without agreement and as a result the people affected were told they weren’t working fast enough, even though they were working in their normal way.
“This escalated and it caused a walkout.
“Now there will be a joint investigation involving management and the union and an independent person.
“Royal Mail has reacted in its usual way to any industrial action, whether official or unofficial, by withdrawing facility time from union reps, including myself, for 28 days.”
Postal workers at the Nottingham mail centre are to be balloted for industrial action following a request being agreed by CWU union headquarters.
Coventry postal workers are set to march on Saturday against the closure of the city’s mail centre.
Workers fear that the quality of the service and 600 jobs are under threat. The CWU union is calling on Royal Mail to keep the mail sorting office in Bishop Street depot open instead of moving its work to Northampton.
Speakers at the event will include Billy Hayes, CWU general secretary, and Coventry’s three MPs – Jim Cunningham, Geoffrey Robinson and Bob Ainsworth.
Mick Kavanagh, CWU Coventry area branch chair, says, “Royal Mail’s plans to close Coventry mail centre are absolutely crazy. A march and rally in Coventry city centre is taking our campaign message to the next level and allows us to send a powerful message to Royal Mail in the form of a very public demonstration.
Des Arthur, CWU Coventry area branch campaign co-ordinator, said Royal Mail was continuing the process of “ripping the economic heart out of Coventry” following the huge loss of jobs caused by the closure of Peugeot’s Ryton plant and Jaguar in Coventry.
The march assembles at 10am at Millennium Place.