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Posted on 26 August 2013 at 10:14 GMT

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Coventry postal workers set to strike on 27 August

A postal worker

Postal workers at Royal Mail's Coventry North Delivery Office will be taking 24-hours of strike action on Tuesday 27 August.

Over 80% of the 200-plus workers, members of the Communication Workers' Union (CWU), voted in favour of a one-day strike to warn local management that enough is enough, regarding the way the office is being run and the way workers are being treated.

Over several months now, the local management have refused to follow national agreements. There is bullying and harassment of certain workers.

Executive decisions are made daily to increase our workloads, regardless of the amount of mail coming into the office each day, usually based on some opaque figures relating to mail traffic volumes.

They call this 'lapsing and absorbing' and it's been going on for years. It used to happen only on days where mail volumes were low, usually just Tuesdays and only over the summer period.

What happens is that at least one round, occasionally two, in each post code area is left vacant that day, due to the postie's day off, annual leave etc.

Then the rest of the workers in that area would prep and deliver that round that day, after doing their own round, if they had time.

Then Mondays were included, which continued for a couple of years and again, only if you had the time after doing your own job.

Then, several months ago, our local management insisted we had to 'absorb' at least one job every day.

And if you say that you don't think you will have the time, because you're snowed under with your own job, that's when the intimidation and threats begin.

As a worker on the 'shop floor', it appears to me that the culture of management in Royal Mail today is to encourage managers to be confrontational, even intimidating.

And certain managers really relish every opportunity to show the workforce "who's boss".

Nationwide problem

Indeed, such is the scale of bulling and harassment, that Royal Mail, along with the CWU, had to agree a national joint statement on the issue.

This is happening in offices up and down the country, as local office managers attempt to curry favour with the higher ups, by showing that they can highlight 'efficiency savings' in the local budget.

I guess 400 million-plus profits this year just isn't enough for some people!

But it's the people at the bottom, the postmen and women, who pay the price through stress related illnesses, physical injuries due to over-work and fatigue, worse terms and conditions and ultimately job cuts, as the privatisation of Royal Mail looms.

We as a union need to be standing up now, not just locally but nationally, and saying "enough is enough" - because things will only get worse if Royal Mail is privatised.

All three main parties support some form of privatisation of Royal Mail. But the public have shown, in survey after survey, that they oppose it.

We Royal Mail workers need to take industrial action to stop the attacks locally. And we also need to take national action against privatising this public service, one which is doing just fine in the public sector.

We also need to link up with other workers in other unions who are in dispute, and look to co-ordinate any action with them.

We all own Royal Mail at the moment. And we workers are proud to provide a six-day delivery service to 29 million addresses throughout the UK.

We can't let it fall into the hands of a few privateers looking to run the service down in pursuit of a fast buck.

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