Monday, 23 July 2012


Dave Chapple-CWU shop steward
The Bridgwater 48-hour wildcat strike ended successfully this morning at 6am, with an overwhelming vote by CWU members to endorse shop steward Dave Chapple's recommendation to return on the following terms:
1. The suspended postman would be returned to work immediately with any disciplinary investigations completed within 48 hours.
2. National talks would begin covering all major industrial relations problems at Bridgwater Delivery Office, including CWU concerns of heavy-handed management, breaking agreements with the CWU, un-agreed cuts in hours, and hospital appointments.
Sunday's talks, involving CWU acting Deputy General Secretary Ray Ellis and national officer Bob Gibson, finally broke through Royal Mail's previously aggressive stance, and paved the way to get the suspended postman back to work without the threat of recriminations against any CWU members for taking part in the walkout.
Dave Wilshire, Bristol CWU Branch Secretary, said:
"Royal Mail can say what it likes but the fact is they would not talk to us about lifting this suspension until the strike went into it's second day: that's a fact.
However, to be positive, It is good to hear from Dave Chapple at Bridgwater Delivery Office that the return to work today is proceeding smoothly without major problems. This is a major Royal Mail turnaround from last Friday, when it looked like we might be out on strike for a week or more.
Our suspended CWU member will return to work today with the threat of serious disciplinary action removed: the other issues members were on strike about should now be addressed.
The tremendous solidarity shown once again by 110 Bridgwater postal workers has, we believe, forced Royal Mail to show some common sense: we hope this approach continues!"

Dave Wilshire,
Branch Secretary
07909 525 740

Friday, 20 July 2012

Lightning Strike at Bridgwater Sorting Office

At 7.30am this morning 100 Royal Mail workers at Bridgwater Delivery Office in Somerset walked out in a lightning protest strike against Royal Mail managers' bullying and breaking agreements with their trade union the CWU.

The postmen and women, many with 30 years service, are angry that a postman with 25 years service has been suspended from duty for an alleged swearing incident, when the other postman concerned has written to Royal Mail asking for the case to be dropped and the postman re-instated.

bullying and harassment

CWU members believe a heavy-handed disciplinary policy, which currently includes Royal Mail posting eight managers to a workplace designed for four, has led to an increased managers' bullying and harassment culture.

Royal Mail are also blatantly breaking agreements with the union on daily staffing levels-called 'lapsing' in Royal Mail, training, and annual leave.

worry and stress

The final issue that must be addressed is Royal Mail changing their policy on staff hospital visits without negotiating this change with the CWU. Previously staff were allowed sufficient paid time off to attend hospital: now they are being forced to go to hospital in their own time which only serves to increase workers' worry and stress.

Dave Wilshire, Bristol and District CWU Branch Secretary, said:

"The overwhelming support for today's walkout at Bridgwater Delivery Office only confirms our belief that there is something radically  wrong with the way this workplace is managed. Whilst this strike is first and foremost a decisive protest against an unfair suspension, the underlying and fundamental issues of breaking national agreements with the CWU and heavy-handed bullying managers must be addressed sooner or later: we would like to resolve this today."  "

For further details contact Dave Wilshire on 07909 525 740 or Dave Chapple, Branch Chair on 0777 6304 276