Post Office struggles to deliver as workers walk out

24 May 01
The Post Office is set to call in postal managers and volunteers to limit the damage caused by a series of strikes by sorting-office workers this week.

25 May 2001

The unofficial walkouts by thousands of workers nationwide caused severe disruption to mail services, with 15 of the Royal Mail's 43 sorting centres on strike.

The delivery of election mail, including polling cards, is also threatened by the walk-outs, which began after workers in Watford went on official strike over changing work patterns on May 18.

Mail from Watford's sorting office was then sent to Liverpool postal workers, who walked out in protest.

According to Royal Mail, the result was a domino effect, with postal offices across the country refusing to handle the extra mail. London, Manchester, Stockport and Cardiff were among the disrupted areas.

Royal Mail managing director of service delivery Mick Linsell slated the strikers. He said: 'It is totally unacceptable that union members are attempting to hold customers to ransom by denying them a service.'

John Keggie, deputy general secretary of the Communication Workers Union, blamed the walk-outs on Royal Mail's attempt to change the way the industry works. 'They don't seem to realise they'll fail if they do not engage their most valuable asset – their workforce,' he said. 'Industrial relations at local level are at an all-time low.'


Did you enjoy this article?