More than 100 postal workers in Somerset have returned to work after suspended colleague was reinstated following unofficial walkout


More than 100 postal workers in Somerset have returned to work after a suspended colleague was reinstated following an unofficial walkout.

High-level negotiations took place during the weekend involving CWU’s acting deputy general secretary Ray Ellis and Royal Mail HR managers over the dispute at the Bridgwater delivery office.

Those talks resolved that the postman – who has 25 years of service – would not be subject to severe disciplinary action over an alleged swearing incident at work.

Royal Mail managers have also agreed to discuss separate concerns over union allegations of over-bearing management practices and restrictions on the right of staff to take time off for medical appointments.

Dave Chapple, chair of CWU’s Bristol and District Branch, told UnionNews: “Our concerns are being taken seriously and the Bridgwater delivery office is now under the microscope.

“After the management’s aggressive stance on Friday, when the walkout started, the manager in charge has made clear that they’ve drawn a line under the action and they’ve lifted the threat of any disciplinary consequences for members arising from the strike.

“For us, it’s – job done.”

Branch officials have welcomed the intervention by CWU national officers, which they say paved the way to get the suspended postman back to work without the threat of recriminations against any union members for taking part in the walkout.

Dave Wilshire, Bristol CWU Branch Secretary, said: “Royal Mail can say what it likes but the fact is they would not talk to us about lifting this suspension until the strike went into its second day: that’s a fact.
“The tremendous solidarity shown once again by 110 Bridgwater postal workers has, we believe, forced Royal Mail to show some common sense: we hope this approach continues.”
Officials say the return to work following the unofficial action, which began on Friday, has gone ‘smoothly’.

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