Wildcat Postal Strikes

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CWU members ‘safe distancing’ on the picket line at the Alloa Royal Mail sorting office

WILDCAT strikes by postal workers at three Scottish sorting offices over serious health and safety issues has forced Royal Mail to change its policy on delivering junk mail during the coronavirus crisis.

Further walkouts are on the cards as issues surrounding protective equipment have not been resolved.

Royal Mail has now said that junk mail will only be delivered to people already receiving letters or parcels the same day and not to every house in a community.

On Wednesday, staff at the huge Edinburgh City depot staged a walk-out about the cleanliness of their delivery rooms and offices.

They followed 80 workers in Alloa, Clackmannanshire, and 15 in Lochgelly, Fife, who carried out unofficial actions on Monday and Tuesday.

The Edinburgh deadlock was broken within hours when the workplaces were cleaned, while staff at the other two depots also returned to work following assurances that health and safety procedures would be tightened up.

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) has said that if personal protective equipment (PPE) is not in place for all employees, or in any workplace, then that office should cease operations until equipment such as gloves and hand sanitisers have been provided.

The union also said offices should close if social distancing measures are not in place.

The CWU said that following a meeting with senior Royal Mail managers on Wednesday, the company had made it clear it will not stop delivering all junk mail.

A union statement said: ‘The response from the chief executive and from the senior management team is totally unacceptable.

‘We will now take these matters up directly with the government, the TUC and our legal representatives.

‘The union’s executive will meet to discuss further actions.’

On March 17th, postal workers delivered a massive 94.5% YES vote for a strike.

This came after Royal Mail went to the law courts and got the judiciary to declare their last strike ballot in November ‘unlawful’ despite getting a 97% YES vote for a strike.

Dave Wiltshire, Secretary of the All Trades Unions Alliance said: ‘Their union leaders in the CWU, however, have not called the strike.

‘Now that their members are coming out on wildcat strikes it is high time for the CWU leaders to name the national strike date.’