Postal workers picket the East London Mail Centre at Bromley-by-Bow during their unofficial action last Friday
Postal workers picket the East London Mail Centre at Bromley-by-Bow during their unofficial action last Friday

‘The postal executive must reject the deal and carry on with the strike action,’ south east London Communication Workers Union (CWU) Rep. Billy Colvill insisted yesterday.

He was commenting on the CWU announcement that it had ‘notified Royal Mail that industrial action planned to take place on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of this week has been suspended in light of the ongoing Postal Executive discussions’.

The CWU said: ‘This action has been suspended with immediate effect.

‘The CWU Executive continues to meet today to consider the agreement reached between Royal Mail and CWU on Friday.’

The announcement came as unofficial strike action has spread.

Colvill added: ‘It’s clear that with offices still out and offices coming out on strike, that the situation calls for us to carry on the strike action.

‘We can’t have any compromise, we have to win this.’

More than 300 CWU postal workers began unofficial strike action at Normanton near Wakefield, West Yorkshire at 3.00pm on Monday afternoon.

Their action, which was continuing yesterday, started at almost exactly the same time as the CWU Executive began their meeting to consider whether to reject the Hayes/Ward sell-out proposals or to put them to a vote of the membership.

That meeting was adjourned and resumed at 11am yesterday, while the strike in Normanton continued, as did the 10-day unofficial strike of 1,000 CWU members in Merseyside.

Gary Hodkinson, North-East Divisional CWU Rep told News Line: ‘The 320 members at Normanton Distribution Centre came out yesterday afternoon at 3-o’clock.

‘The action is over the selection of driving duties for the new network run.

‘Basically it is driving duties that move mail around the country.

‘Locally management have imposed a selection process which is against the agreed national resourcing agreement and have said they won’t withdraw their action.

‘It’s basically just dogma by management outside agreed processes. It’s dictatorial.

‘It could have been resolved yesterday afternoon but management wouldn’t back down. They wouldn’t listen to what members of staff were telling them.

‘We are now waiting for national development. The reason being that if they make an agreement locally it could impact on other distribution centres across the country.

‘There are over 320 members working at this centre and they are all out on the picket line.’

Commenting on the situation at Normanton, a CWU spokeswoman added: ‘Management imposed new duties apparently giving some of the better shifts to some of the scabs who worked during the strikes.’

In Liverpool, Phil Callaghan, Merseyside CWU Branch Chairman told News Line: ‘People will remain on strike until the withdrawal of the imposition of later starting times, which have consequences on the finishing times.

‘As a trade union we think such things should be negotiated.

‘Around 1,000 of our members are out. They have taken votes in two separate meetings, reflecting their strong feelings.

‘But management are not prepared to talk to us about negotiations, only about the imposition of their executive action.’