Socialist Worker

Postal workers leave work in Barnsley over Covid-19 safety fears

by Nick Clark
Issue No. 2711

a CWU gate meeting

a CWU gate meeting (Pic: Guy Smallman)

Royal Mail postal workers in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, left their workplace on Monday over coronavirus safety fears.

The members of the CWU union left the Barnsley delivery office after a number of workers tested positive for Covid-19.

They didn’t go back to work until managers had arranged a deep clean of the building. Dozens of workers gathered at the gates for hours while union reps held discussions with management.

Local news website Yorkshire Live reported that some workers complained that managers hadn’t made it compulsory to wear face masks at work. Others said they had arranged personal coronavirus tests and wouldn’t return to work until they go their results.

The incident is the latest in a series of walkouts and decisions to leave the workplace on safety grounds by CWU members.

Top bosses decided in the early stages of the coronavirus outbreak that Royal Mail should continue with “business as usual.” Workers in many workplaces complained that their conditions were unsafe.

CWU area rep in South Yorkshire Mick Dunlavey told Socialist Worker union members were back at work following a “full office clean with a specialist team.”

He said, “The CWU working in conjunction with Royal Mail decided that it would be unsafe for members to work in the premise until a thorough professional deep clean had occurred.”

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