CWU women welcome agreement on issue of new Royal Mail personal attack alarms

Postal, Royal Mail Group (EMP), Health & Safety

“Good news, now let’s get them out there,” is the reaction of CWU NEC women’s lead Angela Whitter to the agreement by Royal Mail to provide personal attack alarms to postal delivery workers…

Angela, who represents women members from the postal constituency of the union on the national executive, told CWU News today: “I welcome this, which is needed not just by our women members, but by all our outdoor collection and delivery members too, who sometimes suffer emergency, dangerous or threatening situations while on duty.”

CWU health, safety & environment national officer Dave Joyce who secured the agreement, says that this commitment by the company is “a landmark, as they’ve never provided this before.

“There have been around 450 reported attacks of various nature on our postal members in the last three years and around 60 van thefts and robberies in the last two years,” explains Dave, adding that “there have also been four recent, serious attacks.”

Issuing of personal alarms has been actively pursued by the CWU health, safety & environment department with Simon Thompson, Royal Mail Group CEO, and in subsequent meetings with the directors and heads of RMG Security, RMG Assets, RMG IT, RMG Compliance and Sustainability and RMG Safety Programmes.

“The most recent meeting took place just this week, during which confirmation of the company’s decision on agreeing to the issuing of personal alarms was confirmed,” says Dave.

Angela Whitter said that, while welcoming the agreement to provide workers with personal alarms, “it’s also equally important that the company fully supports postwomen and postmen who suffer incidents of abuse when they’re out on delivery.”

As secretary of the union’s Croydon & Sutton Amal Branch, Angela has had a recent case of a postwoman who was sworn at and threatened by a member of the public, who allegedly hit her Royal Mail vehicle with his fists.

“In this instance, I felt that the company did not give our member the support that she deserved – and it’s these kinds of management attitudes that need to change, as well as providing necessary kit.

“All the same, well done to Dave Joyce for getting this agreement and commitment – now we need to make sure the personal alarms arrive soon and let’s get them out there.”

Dave concluded: “Royal Mail will shortly make the personal attack alarms available on their website for members to pre-order and the first stocks will be available towards the end of November when delivery is expected from the manufacturers.”