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Further strikes predicted after Communication Workers' Union members at Stanmore's Royal Mail sorting office stage walkout
Further strikes are expected at Stanmore’s Royal Mail sorting office next week after a first round of industrial action took place today.
Dozens of staff staged a walk out this morning in a row over working conditions at the Parr Road depot, off Honeypot Lane.
Up to 50 members of the Communication Workers’ Union held a picket line amid accusations of unfair workloads and bullying and harassment from senior managers.
Workers attempted to stop delivery trucks from entering the premises on the office’s busiest day of the week.
Thousands of homes and businesses risk being affected by the inevitable postal delays, though Royal Mail is yet to confirm the extent of the backlog.
The postal firm admitted it was forced to bring in volunteers as well as managers from as far away as Bedfordshire to take on the deliveries.
But with talks yet to take place between the CWU and management at the depot, further strike action is already being proposed for next Friday and Saturday.
Ian Murphy, Harrow and District branch representative for the CWU, said: “The mood on the picket line has been very upbeat but I doubt they will listen to us based on one period of strike action.
“I’m hopeful that a couple more days of strikes will bring them to the table. They have been hauling managers in on their days off and away from their normal working areas – it is unsustainable.”
Almost 98 per cent of union members voted in favour of industrial action - the first strike at the depot independent of national walkouts since the 1980s.
Demonstrators who manned the picket line between 5am and midday were supported by Labour councillor Navin Shah, who attended this morning.
One member of Royal Mail staff, who did not want to be named, said: “We made our presence felt and we have made our point.
“Everyone is pleased to be standing on the picket line. If we don’t, the bullying and harassment will continue. Everyone realises we will be losing money by taking this action but we will continue until we are listened to.”
Royal Mail representative Valerie Antoine said cover staff had attempted to deliver as many special delivery and tracked items as possible, and that business, post box and post office collections had largely run as normal.
She said: “Royal Mail is disappointed that members of the Communications Workers’ Union have decided to take industrial action.
“We urge the CWU not to call our people out on strike action, which can only hurt our customers and damage our business and our drive to build a strong and sustainable future for Royal Mail.”
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