Socialist Worker

Royal Mail sacks depressed postal worker

by Jimmy Wilson
Issue No. 1943

I have been employed as a reserve delivery worker for two years at South Shields delivery office, north east England.

For over a year I have been suffering from depression and I had a nervous breakdown.

Since the breakdown I have found it increasingly difficult to perform my role due to the heavy workload. I have been on the sick from my job and I have not been offered alternative work.

After a period of sickness I tried to do different rounds, which I was unfamiliar with, but I was unable to cope. I was charged with unexcused delay of the mail in September and October last year.

I was suspended from duty and my mental health problems got worse, so I went sick again. Royal Mail continued my suspension and told me weekly that I was suspended, despite having a long term sick note.

Management tried to press me into attending disciplinary hearings, despite my doctor stating that I wasn’t up to it.

My union has advised me not to co-operate until my mental health is better. My local community mental health worker has written to management stating that further pressure on me by Royal Mail will exacerbate my symptoms and hinder my recovery.

Management then tried to get me to take part in a hearing by post. But once again I refused as I didn’t feel well enough.

I received a letter last week stating that I had been dismissed without notice and my mental health illness could not be used as mitigation.

I feel disgusted that I have been treated this way despite having attended no hearing and being on sick leave. I would hate to see Royal Mail get away with this with any other postal workers.

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Article information

Sat 19 Mar 2005, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 1943
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