Postal workers in Watford who are performing their duties exactly as per their contract are being disciplined – for breaking company rules!
The workers are following their union’s advice to “do the job properly” – which means only working their contracted hours, not using their own cars to speed up deliveries, and refusing to take out bags that are too heavy.
The campaign is a response to Royal Mail’s decision to impose new start times on workers without agreement with the union, forcing many to reorganise their family lives.
Watford CWU branch secretary Alan Walsh told Socialist Worker, “We’ve been running the campaign for the past 13 weeks. But two weeks ago management stopped pay for people who brought back undelivered mail after they had completed their scheduled hours.
“We referred the matter to the national union, and it lodged a high court case for this week. Since then management have stopped docking pay.”
In the meantime the union in Watford is balloting for strike action over the use of managers and casual agency staff to clear the enormous backlog of mail, while denying permanent staff the right to normal overtime working.
“Our ballot starts this week, and I expect that we’ll win it hands down,” says Alan. “The atmosphere here at the moment is one of tense anger with management.
“Most people are itching to get out the door.”