Analysis

Postal works say Royal Mail waging ‘spurious disciplinary’ war against reps

Company blames striking workers but CWU members cite ‘ridiculous’ grounds for disciplinary action

A passing member of the public salutes striking postal workers in Camden, London

CWU members on strike for their job, pay and conditions have accused Royal Mail of waging a campaign of ‘spurious’ disciplinaries against workers and especially their union reps in an attempt to disrupt the strike action. The company has issued a statement blaming the workers.

Striking posties have told Skwawkbox that the grounds used for disciplinary action, including suspension, have been ‘ridiculous’ and ‘playground’ – citing examples such as:

  • action against workers who wore halloween masks on halloween
  • using the word ‘scab’ to describe workers who cross picket lines and work during the strike
  • complaints by strike-breaking workers that striking workers ‘won’t talk to me’

Some 115,000 postal workers are engaged in the strike because of Royal Mail’s attempt to impose a massive real-terms pay cut and what the union says are plans to run down the service and cut jobs. Royal Mail also launched an assault on the union’s workplace activities and network of reps, while Royal Mail’s management was actually in a meeting supposedly to negotiate.

Skwawkbox contacted Royal Mail for comment on the workers’ allegations. The company responded by blaming workers for their conduct on picket lines, which it said it had highlighted to CWU leadership – Ward has responded by accusing the company of goading and waging a ‘psychological attack’ on workers. A company spokesperson said:

This behaviour has no place in any civilised workplace. The direct intervention of the CWU’s General Secretary is needed to end this culture of intimidation on the picket line, including many incidents by CWU representatives. More than 10,000 frontline employees chose to work on each of the last two days of strike action, and with numbers increasing with each passing day of industrial action, they should feel confident that they can do so safely and without the risk of harm. We have zero tolerance for bullying or harassment. We will continue to support any employee who works on a strike day. They can be assured that we will investigate every incident and allegation and take swift action to discipline the individuals involved appropriately.

Asked about the company’s claims of increasing numbers returning to work, a CWU rep told Skwawkbox:

Out of almost a hundred people working at my local depot, two have been working through the strike. On the last day of the strike that went up to three so if you want to spin it, that’s a fifty percent increase. But the postal workers are standing strong and we have support from the bulk of the public.

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7 comments

  1. Striking workers deeply resent their colleagues who cross picket lines and who continue to work during a strike. One reason for this is that strikers lose pay and many suffer financial hardship as a result of industrial action. Those who continue work do not lose anything (except their integrity) but they benefit from any improvements in wages or other terms and conditions reached as a result of the strike action.
    However strikers must use their heads . If they voice their resentment or stop speaking to these individuals they will always be accused of bullying. I always found that being polite but very cold and distant was an effective tactic. They get the massage but have no grounds for complaint.
    Solidarity

    1. The Tories’ Spring, Summer & Autumn of Discontent will soon become a Winter of Discontent.

      1. AND as the tories hand over to their B Team and Sir Reprobate Starmer is given the Levers of State, it will become The Decade of Discontent.

  2. Union leaders fucked it up and all of them know it! lead by the Idiot Dave Ward who fucking bottled it. He had better start putting things right or he’ll be out on his asss!.

    1. Reply to Andrew
      Care to elaborate Andrew on just how you reached the conclusion that Union leaders F***ed up and that Dave is an idiot who you allege “bottled it” because that’s not the way I see it.
      It seems to me that the fault lies squarely with Royal Mail -a vindictive employer imposing vicious cuts to worker terms and conditions and the Union having balloted its worker is responding the only way it can -by taking strike action.

  3. I mentioned before about RM management…

    When I was on t’post the comical little Hitler of a delivery office manager had it on for me. One time (while the full-timers were on the other side of the office doing the main sorting) he started having a pop at me for wearing trainers, saying he’d put me on a disciplinary for not wearing appropriate uniform.

    That was until one of the posties came down the aisle with the mail for his beat, wearing trainers himself – as we’re about 70% of the staff…

    Needless to say once I pointed out that fact, the pathetic little twerp left sharpish, muttering under his breath and trying to remove his head from his ‘arris.

    Twas always the way whilst PAUL PRICE (The GRASS) was Wallasey D.O.M.

    I just wonder if those complaints in the article can be attributed to that gobshite – if he’s still with them, that is.

    PS There is a lad currently in Wallasey delivery office (transferred from Birkenhead) on a two-year serious (final warning)

    His crime? Having a small Russian flag on his frame…

    They always were petty twunts.

  4. Hello – don’t know about the Unions but I have always found the
    postie to be on the public’s side in respect of delivering mail ..

    I was waiting for weeks for an important parcel from family for ages and
    found the Central depot uncaring and incompetent. I only found
    THEIR contact number through our neighbourhood FB group who
    told me said parcel was probably hanging round one of the depots..
    “Nope” said the manager and if you wait some more weeks you can claim
    ,,,.$%%^ !!

    In the end I waited at the front door for our postie to come round
    and spoke to him. It arrived the next day – whether he searched
    the depot or his van I dont know but he tracked it down .. They do
    jobs over and above their work contracts .

    AS for the Unions they were clobbered by the Thatcher Acts of
    Parliament which the Blair govt did NOTHING about. It has
    taken some ingenuity from said Unions and the web to get
    round it and bring their members together to get a VOTE in
    that the govt cannot argue about

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