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POSTIES in Bridgewater downed tools for a second time in an unofficial strike today after “rogue” local managers reneged on an agreement between their union and Royal Mail.
A hundred postal workers at the Bridgewater Royal Mail Delivery Service, Somerset, originally walked out on Thursday morning after “reaching breaking point” over “aggressive” and “anti-union behaviour” from management.
The action was supported by an overwhelming majority – 99.7 per cent – of postal workers at the site.
Staff then agreed to return to work after a narrow vote in favour of an agreement thashed out by postal workers’ union CWU and Royal Mai on Thursday evening.
But local managers at Bridgewater reportedly ignored the agreement today, prompting workers to walk out again.
A source close to the dispute told the Morning Star he had “never seen anything like this.”
“It appears that the local management team do not agree with the agreement made with Royal Mail nationally,” the source said.
“We’ve got an agreement that’s been made nationally that’s been overruled locally.
“If it were not for the action of rogue managers locally the Bridgewater workers would currently be back in the workplace.”
Workers at the Friarn Street delivery office said they had taken unofficial action as a “last resort” over a number of unresolved issues over the past six weeks.
On top of concerns over anti-union behaviour from management, workers say they have faced threats of disciplinary action for “wilful delay of the mail,” which could lead to dismissal, and that managers followed union activists around the workplace to try to prevent them speaking with CWU members.
“Members have basically reached breaking point over issues that have built up over the last six weeks and don’t feel like they’ve been treated with dignity and respect in the workplace, and that’s why it’s got to the point where people have walked out,” the source added.
A Royal Mail spokesperson said the company was “disappointed” by the unballoted industrial action, and that it was “working through the issues raised and continue to engage with the CWU to find a resolution.”
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