Nottingham strike ballot after postman ‘fired for complaining’


Angry postal workers met outside Glaisdale Delivery Office this morning and vowed to fight for justice in response to the “unfair dismissal” of one of their fellow workers.

As well as the national ballot taking place, members at this Nottingham unit are also voting on action to win back the job of postman Ian Green, who was sacked from his job here in August after management accused him of being “aggressive” when he made a complaint about working conditions.

CWU Midlands sub-divisional representative Steve Blower said that Mr Green, who has served the company for 15 years with no disciplinary record whatsoever, had “basically been sacked for complaining to his line manager – in this instance, about the apparently poor state of the indoor parcel sort area.

“The delivery office manager charged him with a ‘gross misconduct’ offence, alleging that he had shown ‘aggressive behaviour’, but Ian did not threaten, he did not swear, and he did not refuse – neither did he commit theft or violence, or break any law,” the divisional rep explains, pointing out that these are the only possible potential criteria for a summary dismissal of someone with a clear record.

“The suspicions of the members at Glaisdale are that he has been targeted and singled out by the management because he’s known to be someone who will challenge unfair and wrong actions by management.

“And at this morning’s gate meeting, the mood among the members here is that they are furious at the way Ian has been treated and they’re determined to win justice.”

Following the sacking, Mr Green’s colleagues asked their branch – Nottingham & District Amal – to seek authorisation for a strike ballot, which was granted by the union’s postal executive.

The union also submitted an immediate appeal through the company’s internal procedures, which was heard in September, and the verdict is expected towards the end of this week.

“We’re hopeful that the person adjudicating this case will see the sense of the union’s position and will overturn Ian’s sacking,” says Steve.

“At this time, we’re awaiting that announcement – but it’s shocking that, yet again, one of our members has had to go through such an injustice.

“This is the bullying Royal Mail management that we’re up against – it’s happening too much and too often and we’re going to change these attitudes.”

Acting assistant secretary Carl Maden confirms that the union has officially authorised a strike ballot to win justice for Mr Green and makes the point that, according to the facts of the case as reported, the company “is not adhering to our agreed conduct procedure.

“We have given the necessary legal notice to Royal Mail of a ballot for strike action at this unit in accordance with rule and with the law,”

Commenting further, Carl says: “This is not an isolated case. We’ve seen a rise in conduct penalties which we have deemed either unfair or excessive.

“This increasingly hostile management attitude is unacceptable and it has to change.”