Royal Mail strike vote at Peterborough – union calls for ‘common sense’ from management

Postal, Royal Mail Group (EMP)

Thursday 24th September 2020

Branch and divisional officials are urging Royal Mail management to “think again and avoid a dispute,” after postal workers in Peterborough voted by 87.8 per cent for strike action to win the reinstatement of a sacked colleague.

The postman, who has worked several years for the business with no previous disciplinary record, was fired in July – action which, the union argues, both “breached” and “unreasonably applied” the company’s conduct agreement.

Branch secretary Andy Beeby (CWU Eastern No5) told CWU News: “The ballot result today shows the huge strength of feeling among members that this sacking was unfair and must be reconsidered.

“It’s their view and the view of this union that the allegations laid against our member here do not, in our view, warrant dismissal,” he explained.

“In fact, in the case we made to management, our divisional rep Steve Butts cited 13 previous cases of comparable incidents which did not lead to summary dismissals.”

In the union’s summary of reasons for the ballot, the CWU states its opinion that the dismissing manager in this case has made the decision to fire the member ‘based on what could have happened in different circumstances rather than the actual facts of what did happen on the day in question’.

“This is completely unacceptable, and we’re calling on the company to reinstate this member, with full pay, benefits and continuity of employment without loss,” Andy says.

                  Carl Maden

The union is also seeking assurances that there will be no further ‘breaches’ or ‘unreasonable applications’ of the agreed conduct process going forward.

“We want this resolved without strike action, and this can be done if the company agrees to apply common sense here,” explains Andy.

“But if they refuse to budge, these members here have pledged that they will strike for their sacked workmate.”

In his reaction to the ballot result, CWU Anglia divisional representative Steve Butts said: “This vote is one of workers’ solidarity, the foundation that this union is built on.

“The dismissal itself is an unreasonable decision in my opinion. Statistics can reveal an unfair approach to the way CWU members are treated when it comes to discipline.”

And acting assistant secretary Carl Maden said: “This ballot result sends a message to the employer that members feel this dismissal is unfair and that the conduct agreement has been unfairly applied. I commend the Peterborough delivery members for their solidarity and I urge Royal Mail management to take a common sense approach here and rescind the dismissal.”