ROYAL Mail’s bullying management, backed to the hilt by the Brown government, yesterday sought to impose extreme flexibility onto the country’s postal workers, provoking walk-outs in Glasgow, Manch-ester, Liverpool, Oxford, and East London.
About 30 pickets were outside the East London Mail Centre and E16 Delivery Office at Bromley-by-Bow from 6am yesterday.
Mark Saxon, the CWU E16 Unit Rep explained what had happened.
He said: ‘We went in this morning to start at our normal time, 5.15, to be told that we were working in our own time and our official starting time was six o’clock.
‘This sparked outrage and a walk-out followed. Since then we have been out here.
‘We have had the full support of the Mail Centre and Distribution.
‘As the morning has gone on, more and more delivery offices have followed.
‘There was a mass meeting this morning of all the offices that had walked out – E1, E3, E13, E14.
‘They were here this morning with E16 leading the way. Every one of these offices has gone out on their own merits.’
Postal workers from the East London Mail Centre in Bromley-by-Bow joined their colleagues from the E16 Delivery Office because they are on the same site.
Angie Mulcahy, the CWU Area Processing Rep at Bow Locks explained: ‘The staff in the delivery office have not been given 28 days notice of the changes.
‘Processing and delivery colleagues are supporting them 120 per cent.
‘We are all out here since 6am this morning, nobody is working in the Mail Centre.
‘This is an act of solidarity because they are changing our hours of attendance on October 22.’
There was also a strong picket line at the Bow (E3) Delivery Office after they walked out.
Vince Micallef, the CWU E3 Unit Rep said: ‘People turned up for work this morning at their normal times and we were told we are not on pay.
‘Who would find it acceptable to be working and not being paid for it? The members find it unacceptable.
‘The changes in start times are part of the national dispute, which is still ongoing.
‘This is the response. We had no option.
‘Also, as a vindictive act, we were informed that the four days’ action we have just taken, the pay will be stopped in one go, in one weekly amount, just to outrage people further.
‘Union reps are being threatened with incitement and harassment. This just fuels the fire.
‘What we need is solidarity throughout the country and for them to join us in this strike.
‘We have tried to ask our members to return to work, but they have said they will not do so with their terms and conditions under attack.’
One postman outside the Whitechapel delivery office in east London said: ‘They’ve forced us out over these new time changes, threatening to put people on “wilful delay’’.’
Neil told News Line: ‘They’ve imposed new start times. People came in at their regular time and were then told they weren’t going to be paid for starting at their old time.
‘And if they tried to stop at their old times, rather than go on to the new times, they were told they’d be done for wilful delay, which is a sackable offence.
‘The whole office walked out in protest and by tomorrow we expect all offices in east London will be out.
‘Glasgow, Liverpool and Manchester are all out.’
Another postman said: ‘I think the union should immediately stop their funding of the Labour Party.’