Socialist Worker

Royal Mail workers in Southend deliver a strike threat to bosses

by Nick Clark
Issue No. 2640

CWU members in Southend voting to call for a ballot last week

CWU members in Southend voting to call for a ballot last week (Pic: @CWUnews/Twitter)

Workers at one of Royal Mail’s largest workplaces have agreed to ballot for industrial action if they don’t get a review into management’s “bullying culture”.

CWU union members at the Southend mail processing unit in Essex voted unanimously at a mass meeting last Thursday to call for a ballot.

It followed a sit-in by some 300 workers at the office—the second largest delivery office in Britain—the previous week.

Workers at the office sat in the canteen after bosses sacked a young worker on the spot—a move CWU officials described as “heavy handed”.

They returned to work after bosses agreed to reinstate the workers’ pay pending an appeal hearing. Now they have written to the CWU’s top officials demanding a review into management practices—and will ballot for action if one isn’t organised.

John Hunt, secretary of the CWU’s Essex Amal branch, told Socialist Worker, “Members are coming to us regularly about the heavy-handed methods of the employer.”

Royal Mail workers face increasing workloads and longer deliveries.

A deal between the CWU and Royal Mail last year promised a “change in culture” to deal with workplace stress and bullying.

But John said, “We’ve only seen the culture get worse.

“People can take no more—and we don’t think Southend is unique.”

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