Royal Mail posties to take industrial action in customer service dispute

Posties say Royal Mail has failed to implement the Universal Service Obligation to ensure a one-price-goes-anywhere postal service.

Royal Mail posties in Stranraer to take industrial action amid customer service dispute iStock

Royal Mail postal workers in Stranraer have voted unanimously for industrial action.

Workers with the Communication Workers Union (CWU), have voted for ‘action short of strike’ in a bid to ensure Royal Mail management honours their legal requirement to ensure the Universal Service Obligation (USO) is delivered for their customers.

The USO ensures post is delivered to every address six days a week at a one-price-goes-anywhere postal service.

However, posties say they are increasingly pressured to prioritise ‘premium products’.

The company has a legal responsibility to uphold the USO and was a signatory to the recent agreement with the CWU which recognised their responsibility to restore the USO for all customers.

However for customers in Stranraer, and elsewhere, this has not happened.

The ballot, which secured 88% turnout and 100% support comes as local posties say customers are being failed by managers who have demanded tracked parcels and other ‘premium products’ are given priority over standard letters.

One postie who asked to remain anonymous said: “It is a daily battle to have all mail delivered as paid for. Stranraer and the rural community depend on a regular postal service. We know of areas where they receive no letters for two or three days a week.

“This is important correspondence from NHS, DWP and other authorities, it is also family mail like birthday cards. Yet, we are told to prioritise ‘premium products’ like tracked parcels. We have had enough of facing customers’ disappointment.”

CWU Scottish regional secretary Craig Anderson said: “We hope this ballot will bring Royal Mail back to the table in a serious discussion over what is needed to restore a proper service for customers in Stranraer. We expect Royal Mail to honour the agreement. Posties in Stranraer are to be commended for making a stand.”

Glasgow CWU branch secretary Jim McKechnie added: “We met with members in Stranraer on a couple of occasions to hear what’s going on. We have tried to seek a remedy through local talks but RM are managing by command and control from London.

“I know the posties in Stranraer, they are a dedicated bunch and have had enough excuses for not being able to deliver a service. We will keep the dialogue going and hope this ballot will add some pressure to the employer.”

A Royal Mail spokesperson said: “Improving our quality of service is our top priority and we are committed to restoring service levels to where our customers expect them to be.

“We are working closely with the CWU locally and every effort is being made to ensure post is delivered on time.”

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