Postal workers walked out unofficially this morning, just hours after many had returned to work following an official 48-hour strike.
The walkouts in east London, Liverpool and Glasgow were triggered by management, who today unilaterally changed the start times of thousands of workers in delivery offices.
Workers were told that they must now start at 6am, instead of their usual times, which are generally up to an hour earlier. The later start will mean that most workers would be expected to work until later in the day to finish their delivery rounds, disrupting family and other arrangements.
At the E13 delivery office in Plaistow, east London, workers turned up at their normal start time of 5.15am but were told by management that they would not be paid for any work they did until 6am.
They immediately walked out and made their way to the Bow Locks mail centre, where mail centre workers, in both the delivery and processing sections, joined them on strike.
Action quickly spread to offices in E3, E14, E16, E1 and E4 – meaning that by 8am around 1,000 east London postal workers had joined the strike. It is expected that later shifts at the mail centre will also join the action.
The same pattern of action was repeated in Liverpool, with workers from striking delivery offices moving to the Copperas Hill mail centre, and bringing them out on strike too.
In Glasgow, unofficial action was triggered in the same way, but strikers have now returned to work.
Meanwhile at the delivery office in Streatham, southwest London, workers walked out following management intimidation and a dispute over the forced use of high capacity trolleys (» Pressure in Streatham).
In many other parts of the country, where changed attendance times have also been enforced, the union has given Royal Mail seven days notice of local official industrial action over the issue. Delivery workers in a number of areas plan to strike for two or three hours at the end of their shifts.
Wherever postal workers choose to fight Royal Mail’s change to start times by taking unofficial action, it is vital that other postal workers support them.
Royal Mail must not be allowed to use divide and rule tactics against postal workers.
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