Socialist Worker

Macclesfield postal workers stand up for their mate

by Charlie Kimber
Issue No. 2049

MACCLESFIELD POSTAL workers last week walked out unofficially to support a colleague with chronic renal failure – and won a complete victory against uncaring bosses.

The unofficial strike – the first in 20 years – left houses in the SK10 and SK11 areas without their post.

The suspension of Simon Heathcote, 36, of Wilwick Lane, Weston, sparked a walkout by 70 colleagues.

The Macclesfield Express says Simon spends eight hours a night on a life-saving dialysis machine. He was sent home with pay on Friday 27 April after he failed to complete his round.

Bosses suspended him for up to six weeks for investigation just two days after he found out he was on a kidney transplant list. But he was reinstated the day after the strike action.

Simon said: 'I’m just so relieved it’s all over. It was annoying that the lads had lost a day’s pay and Macclesfield had lost a day’s mail – all needlessly.'

A postman for three years, Simon said he was sent home for failing to complete his round which he delivers in a van, but claims he followed the correct procedures to let them know in advance that he would not be able to do overtime.

He added, 'I would like to thank my colleagues for such an amazing show of support, it is so brilliant to know people would do that.'

He said the job was vital to help support his family.

Simon – who has a catheter permanently attached to his abdomen – was sent home just two days after receiving the good news he was on the list for a life-saving kidney transplant.

Simon says, 'I felt so relieved and hopeful when I got the letter from the hospital.

'I had warned management I didn’t think I’d be able to complete my round on the Thursday. The next day I came into work and at 6am I was called into the office and suspended.'

Postal workers walked out at 6am and stood on Jordangate for two hours before going home.

Royal Mail agreed to negotiate with Simon on the condition his colleagues returned to work on Saturday.

Just one day after the unofficial strike, Simon – who is on a pre-booked week-long holiday to spend time with wife Victoria, 36 and daughter– was reinstated.

Communication Workers Union area delivery representative, Chris Macindeor, said: 'The important thing now is that this has ended satisfactorily for us and, more importantly Simon is back at work, as is everyone else.

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Article information

Thu 3 May 2007, 14:47 BST
Issue No. 2049
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