by Nicola Haggarty
At the heart of the strike is the claimed refusal of Royal Mail bosses to discuss the planned modernisation of the postal service with The Communication Workers Union (CWU).
The CWU says that Royal Mail bosses are not sharing plans or information with them and that postal workers are being forced into complying with the changes, or face the sack.
Sian Jones, of the CWU said: “The strikes are happening not because of the changes that are taking place but because of how the Royal Mail are dealing with it.
“They are implementing changes without consulting workers. Postal workers with driving licenses are being forced to drive vans and then are threatened with the sack if they refuse. There’s no need for it.”
She added: “The Royal Mail are making massive changes which will affect everyone. We will see later mail delivery, more vans and fewer bicycles, and lots of agency staff, some of which do not know the routes and may not even be vetted.
“It puts into question the security of our mail.”
Postal workers are supporting the action of the CWU by accusing Royal Mail bosses of threatening behaviour towards staff.
One postal worker says: “Our bosses are walking away with £1million bonuses at the end of the year and they wont even pay us overtime for the extra work we have to do. The managers bully and intimidate workers and this is happening nation wide.”
The Royal Mail denies these claims saying that 60% of postal men and women did not vote for strike action against them and that union leadership have gone back on their agreement not to strike.
In a statement from the Royal Mail, managing director Mark Higson says: “We have held more than 70 meetings with the CWU over the last few months and we call on them now to stop the strikes, get back round the table and talk.”