Northern Ireland Royal Mail strike ballot opens today


Around 70 Northern Ireland delivery workers begin voting today on possible strike action in support of two colleagues who the union believes have been “disciplined on trumped-up charges.”

Bangor Delivery Office postmen Craig Stewart and Jim Magowan were handed two-year suspended dismissals back in September – a penalty that they, their workmates, on an alleged “non-completion” of a duty – but their branch secretary Davy Moffett (Northern Ireland East) insists that the pair followed the proper procedures.

“Last July, their manager asked them to take out an extra duty (lapsing) and they contacted him to confirm they wouldn’t be able to complete and that they would be coming back to the office.

“This is all 100% in accordance with the appropriate procedure,” Davy points out.

However, the office manager decided to carry out a ‘fact-finding’ exercise, and then he referred the matter upwards to his operational manager, which then resulted in the two-year suspended dismissal penalty being handed down in September.

“We then submitted a formal appeal, but the appeal-hearing manager just rubber-stamped the suspended dismissal, leaving us with no alternative but to pursue justice through the disputes procedure,” continues the branch secretary.

Balloting among the office workforce opens today and closes on the 28th January and if strike action goes ahead it will impact on around 30,000 addresses across the Bangor post code area.

“Members here are angry at what’s happened to Craig and Jim and I would urge management to come their senses and negotiate a fair solution with the union in order to avoid a full-on industrial dispute,” says Davy.