Postal workers in Fenland remain almost unaffected by strikes but it could all change

PUBLISHED: 15:51 14 September 2009 | UPDATED: 09:14 02 June 2010

POSTAL services in Fenland have remained almost unaffected by strike action in surrounding areas but that situation could change following a national ballot of workers. There were strikes today at Ely, Cambridge, Haddenham, Isleham and Soham delivery offi

POSTAL services in Fenland have remained almost unaffected by strike action in surrounding areas but that situation could change following a national ballot of workers.

There were strikes today at Ely, Cambridge, Haddenham, Isleham and Soham delivery offices and on Wednesday Peterborough network drivers will take action.

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) has served notice to Royal Mail that ballot papers will be posted to all 130,000 postal workers. The ballot opens on Thursday and closes on October 8 but talks with the Royal Mail continue.

Michael Williams, CWU branch secretary at Peterborough said services in Fenland would remain as normal unless distribution drivers at Peterborough went on strike for which there are no immediate plans.

Following the union announcement of a national ballot a halt was called on local ballots leaving Fenland postal workers to make their feelings known along with the rest of the country. An all-out strike could result crippling the postal system.

The union has accused Royal Mail of going back on an agreement in 2007 about staffing levels and modernisation.

Mr Williams whose branch includes workers at March and Wisbech admitted that there are mixed feelings among the public over strike action.

He said: "There are a lot of people who say we should just like it or lump it but we have got a unionised work place and all we are asking for is a fair work load. People are missing the point, the union is fighting our corner and you shouldn't have to be dictated to.

"This dispute is not about pay, we have had a pay freeze which has been generally accepted. We are proud of the service we deliver and we are fighting to maintain that service. We realise in the short term that people are going to suffer if we do strike but we are thinking of the long term. We don't want to be out on the streets delivering mail at 6pm and people should be able to expect their mail at a reasonable time of day."

Mr Williams said his union wanted an independent body to advise on what was a fair workload.

He said: "Hopefully by the time the ballot ends we will have reached a workable agreement with Royal Mail but it could be there is no other way but to take action.


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