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‘I won my job back with union support’

This article is over 20 years, 0 months old
PAUL TURNBULL, the CWU union area processing rep at Cambridge Mail Centre, has won an appeal against sacking. This follows the reinstatement of two workers in east London. The decision was unanimous-even the management rep voted to reinstate him. He to
Issue 1901

‘I WAS suspended at the beginning of November last year after allegations were made regarding my behaviour on the picket line during last year’s big unofficial strikes. I was then dismissed on 30 December. John Farnan, the union’s divisional rep for the Anglia region, represented me during the disciplinary hearing, and did an excellent job. But, after taking my 15 years service (and clean conduct record) into account, the investigating manager still summarily dismissed me.

Billy Hayes, my union general secretary, and Dave Ward, the deputy general secretary, both gave me their full support from the beginning. As I am a union rep the appeal went to the National Appeals Panel, where Noel McClean from the union executive represented me.

Noel worked hard on my case, and I will always be grateful to him. I spoke at a briefing of union reps just after my dismissal, and said that I would not give up fighting until I got my job back. I am proud to be able to represent postal workers, and I knew I was going to get my job back because of the magnificent support I received from ordinary union members at Cambridge Mail Centre. It was not easy, but with the support and solidarity from the CWU and other unions I have managed to retain my sanity!

I would like to thank everyone who has supported me-you know who you are if I have not mentioned you-but most of all I would like to thank the members and the reps at Cambridge Mail Centre who never doubted me and were prepared to take strike action if necessary. Thanks comrades!’

  • A new issue of Post Worker, the rank and file paper, is out now. Billy Hayes responds to Dispatches, a celebration of the battles in east London, Cambridge and Oxford, and more. For your copy phone 07904 157 779.

    The next steps

    ‘I AM sure colleagues will feel deep sympathy for the tremendous stress, financial and social pressure experienced by the members involved in the east London and Cambridge cases. In the past where our reps and members have been subjected to this type of treatment, it has become customary where we win the cases to accept the result and walk away from the issue.

    With regard to these cases this will not happen. Where it has been recognised that shameful, vindictive and even dishonest behaviour has occurred, then those responsible must be investigated and appropriate action taken.

    We shall be pursuing this matter with the same, if not more, vigour as that demonstrated by those who attempted to destroy the lives of three people who between them had nearly 60 years service in Royal Mail.’

  • Extracts from a letter to CWU branches from DAVE WARD, the union’s deputy general secretary, postal

    Cash in Transit

    POSTAL WORKERS who work in the Cash in Transit (CIT) section have voted against this year’s pay deal, even though the union executive recommended it. The result was 313 against the deal and 268 in favour. This is a small part of the postal workforce.

    But the vote shows how many people are not happy with having their conditions worsened and their jobs made even harder in exchange for a bribe-especially when the bribe was just a 3.5 percent rise.

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