Around 250 postal workers in Luton and Leagrave delivery offices are out on strike today, Wednesday, in a row over disciplinaries.
The CWU union members have notified bosses of a further 24-hour strike on Thursday of next week.
Neal Kidwell is secretary of the Eastern No 6 CWU branch that covers the area. He told Socialist Worker that the strike has been “fantastic”.
“Nobody’s crossed the picket line,” he added. “We’ve had a succession of people turning up with mail who have turned around. Because of that, drivers have been sent home today without pay. We’re really grateful to them for supporting us.”
More than 90 percent of workers backed strikes in a recent ballot. Neal said they are fed up with facing disciplinary action for being unable to cope with the workload.
“We feel that management has misapplied the conduct codes in several cases,” he said.
“Conduct codes are being used against people who are unable to complete their rounds for that day. But that’s not what should be done if there are problems with workloads. Our guidelines say conduct codes should be corrective, not punitive.”
Neal explained that the Luton and Leagrave offices have recently merged. He said 250 workers are now working out of an office “fit for 150”.
He added that, after initially looking at revising the rounds, bosses have now “withdrawn from any constructive talks” to resolve the dispute. “Royal Mail managers have tried to do the rounds we’re doing and they can’t do them,” he said. “They’ve withdrawn because they weren’t getting the answers they wanted.
“Now they say we just have to do the rounds.”
Send messages of support via Neal at firstname.lastname@example.org