13 March 2006

Second strike looms as West Belfast postie gets the sack


On the edge - Second postal strike looms as anger builds over sacking of striker

by Evan Short

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usFears are growing that mail deliveries could once again be brought to a standstill following the sacking of a senior delivery man from West Belfast on Friday afternoon.

The dismissal, according to our source inside the company, has left staff “fuming" and the man’s case will be put at the top of the agenda at a scheduled union meeting to be held tonight (Monday), with the possibility of another strike being discussed.

Our source said, “This man has worked for 10 years making deliveries and he was told to go on Friday afternoon. All the boys wanted to walk out right there and then. They let him prepare his mail to be delivered before they called him in and told him he was sacked."

The source added that since the striking workers returned to their jobs they have had to put up with an overtime ban and there has been no change in how management are treating staff.

“Since we came back in the situation has again been getting beyond a joke. The workers who took part in the strike are not allowed to get any overtime.

They are bringing people in from all over the country to do the post, even managers at £40 an hour. Even the Royal Mail’s senior people have been working on the mail rather than them let ordinary workers do overtime – it’s a joke."

Focus will now shift to the union meeting to be held tonight in the unemployment centre on Donegall Street where strike action will be discussed. Communication Workers Union (CWU) members have already voted in favour of a ballot to be held for official strike action, and according to senior CWU member Eoin Davey, strike action is now being “demanded."

“Because of the way this man has been treated our members are now demanding strike action. People are incensed that this man has been singled out – it looks to everyone like it is an act of retribution. To be quite honest with you the management hasn’t changed since the first strike.

“One of our representatives said it feels like Royal Mail have gone to war with the ordinary workers, he was in tears when he told me this man had lost his livelihood, that’s how much this has affected people."

No one from Royal Mail was available for comment when contacted by the Andersonstown News.

Journalist:: Evan Short

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