You need to activate Javascript in your Firewall and Browser to get the best out of this multimedia site. There is NO SPYWARE.
Instant Search
Home arrow Home arrow Sitemap arrow List of articles arrow Recriminations fly as postal strike spreads
Recriminations fly as postal strike spreads Print E-mail
Tag it:
Furl it!
Allan Leighton makes much of his ability to talk staff round in times of trouble, popping down to the shopfloor to discuss tricky issues face-to-face with employees the Royal Mail chairman likes to refer to as colleagues. Spin doctors enthusiastically recount occasions when their boss pulled off the motorway for an unscheduled visit to a sorting office or depot to find out what was troubling his 160,000 workmates.  T he tactic spectacularly failed him this week, however, when he tried to persuade staff to end an unofficial strike in London which, by last night, had spread to Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Essex, Kent, Buckinghamshire and Lanarkshire in Scotland. Mr Leighton unexpectedly turned up at a mass meeting on Monday at the big Greenford mail centre in west London, where postal workers have downed bags since Monday of last week. According to an official of the Communication Workers Union, which has been forced to repudiate the wildcat walkouts to avoid fines and compensation claims, the visit backfired. "Suddenly out of the gloom stepped a leather-clad figure who said, 'Hi, I'm Allan Leighton, what's it all about?'" said the official. "Everyone started telling him how the managers were treating them like dirt so he says, 'Well, why don't we go back to work and talk to them?' "He must be atrociously briefed by his own people if he thinks that trick is going to work. Let's just say that very quickly he was back in his chauffeur-driven car with a few of the lads offering helpful advice." The most serious wave of unofficial strikes to swamp Royal Mail for a decade, trapping tens of millions of letters in unsorted bags, and postboxes sealed in parts of the capital, is the product of a sharp deterioration in industrial relations. Peace talks had to be switched yesterday from Rathbone Place to Old Street after union negotiators refused to cross a picket line at an adjoining sorting office, vividly illustrating the mood of mistrust. The chief executive, Adam Crozier, accused militants of trying to blackmail the corporation into conceding a £4,000 a year London allowance after a narrow vote in September against national industrial action to secure a basic £300 a week. Union activists in turn accused Royal Mail of using the national result to impose sweeping changes on employees and deliberately orchestrating the current confrontation by deploying "bouncers" to intimidate strikers in Dartford, Kent, and Acton, west London. "What we're seeing is a concerted cam paign, orchestrated by union activists, to try to force Royal Mail to increase its London weighting payment over and above the existing offer," Mr Crozier said. "This is unofficial and unlawful. They're cajoling postmen and women in London to strike - and they're threatening to do the same to their colleagues across the UK, who have voted against industrial action. Royal Mail won't be blackmailed." Dave Ward, the CWU deputy general secretary, blamed heavy-handed managers who cracked down when staff returned after a second one-day strike in London staged on Thursday October 16, a stoppage called after a legal ballot. "When our members returned to work Royal Mail decided that they would teach them a lesson," wrote Mr Ward in an open letter released yesterday. "This included changing people's duties, stopping them receiving normal earnings opportunities and making it clear that all local arrangements and practices would soon cease. "In addition managers adopted an aggressive bullying attitude, which placed our members under enormous pressure and stress." The fuse was lit on October 17 with the suspension of 16 delivery drivers in west London's Southall hub after they refused to take special delivery items to destination addresses rather than depots. Royal Mail said the addresses were on routes anyway but the drivers said it was not part of their normal work. =,11489,1073715,00.html
< Prev
© 2018 Green Politics

This is Keith Richardson's alternative news site. The site aims to promote Truth, Justice, a green clean healthy environment and a wildlife friendly world. It is currently focused on Foreign News and particularly the Middle East.