Postal workers at a depot in South Bristol are on strike today in a row over conditions. Staff at the Mead Street sorting office in Bedminster say their workloads are unacceptable.
This is the first in a series of strikes before Christmas, and was called after talks between the Communication Workers Union and Royal Mail broke down.
Postal workers at the Royal Mail depot at Mead Street in South Bristol are due to strike on December 10 in a dispute over working conditions.
Royal Mail has issued this response.
– Adrian Booth, Royal Mail spokesman
We are urging staff based at Mead Street to continue working as normal and to allow the nationally agreed process for resolving issues of concern to continue.
We are disappointed they have decided to take industrial action on a peak day in the run-up to Christmas, which is our busiest period as we deliver customers' Christmas items.
Royal Mail is determined to do all it can to maintain service to customers on December 10 with help from Royal Mail colleagues throughout the south west and the wider country, to deliver letters, cards and parcels.
Customers can ring the Royal Mail's Customer Service helpline on 08457 740 740 or check its website.
The Communication Workers Union has announced that its first 24 hour strike in the run up to Christmas will take place on Monday 10 December.
Postal workers at the Royal Mail depot in Mead Street in Bristol will take action between 0001 hours and 2359 hours.
It means there will be no deliveries to the BS4 and BS14 areas that day.
Talks between the CWU and Royal Mail broke down today in a dispute over workloads at the South Bristol Depot.
– Royal Mail spokesman
We have met again with Communications Worker Union (CWU) representatives today.
We have invited the Union to meet with us again tomorrow to continue working with us to explore every opportunity to resolve concerns of our staff at Mead Street.
We remain committed to the nationally agreed framework for resolving these issues.
However, in response to the threat of industrial action, we have been developing contingency plans to make sure deliveries of festive mail continues if there is industrial action in the run up to Christmas.
Postal workers at a depot in Bristol will hold a series of strikes before Christmas following the breakdown of talks with Royal Mail today.
It's the first time the Mead Street depot in Bedminster has been on strike for 15 years.
Communication Workers Union spokesman Dave Wilshire said other depots are 'on the brink' of joining the action:
– Dave Wilshire, Communication Workers Union spokesman
Managers seem incapable or unwilling to recognise the problem the postmen and women are facing on a daily basis.
We have no choice but to act following a series of meetings attempting to resolve this issue.
Royal Mail will receive notice next week for the first in a series of strikes in the run up to Christmas.
Posties claim they have unacceptable workloads following a series of changes by Royal Mail, who have previously claimed the problems were due to sickness levels at the depot.
Managers had been drafted in to help with the backlog of mail.
Postal workers in part of Bristol are to hold a series of strikes in the run up to Christmas. Talks with the Royal Mail broke up today without any agreement. Next week the workers' union, the CWU, say they will give the company a week's notice of their strike plans.
The men and women involved work at the Mead Street depot near Temple Meads. The post codes affected are BS4 and BS14.
A meeting is taking place to try to avoid a possible postal strike that could disrupt Christmas mail in part of Bristol.
Previous talks between the Communication Workers Union and Royal Mail over a dispute at the city's Mead Street depot have so far failed to reach an agreement. It is hoped that today's meeting will resolve the row over working conditions.
If the strike goes ahead deliveries in the BS4 and BS14 areas of the city would be affected.
The Communication Workers Union (CWU) today warned that postal strikes in the lead up to Christmas will become a reality, if an acceptable agreement cannot be concluded at a final meeting with Royal Mail tomorrow morning.
Last week postal workers at the Mead Street depot in Bedminster in Bristol, who deliver mail to the BS4 and BS14 areas of the city, returned an 81% “Yes” vote in favour of strike action.
CWU Bristol area official David Wilshire said “This is a last ditch meeting. We are still way apart on the main issues at the core of this dispute and the business need to realise this”.
David went on to say “After consulting our members we have requested that a series of strikes is authorised. If a resolution is not reached at the meeting tomorrow it is likely that notice of strikes will be given soon after”.
Postal workers are angry about mail backlogs. They say their delivery rounds are too large, but Royal Mail has put it down to high levels of sick leave.
The prospect of a postal strike at the Royal Mail depot in Bedminster, Brisol drew closer today after a second meeting between officials from the Communication Workers Union and Royal Mail finished without agreement.
Both parties will however meet again next Thursday in a final attempt to reach a joint resolution.
Postal workers at the Mead Street site, which delivers mail to the BS4 and BS14 areas, returned an 81% “Yes” vote for strike action earlier this week and a mass meeting will be held on Tuesday.
At this meeting CWU Officials and workers will discuss the possible timing of strike action. This could take place during the busy Christmas period.
– David Wilshire, CWU Bristol area official
Despite limited progress today we are still some way apart on the main issues at the core of this dispute.
The fact that a further meeting has been arranged provides some hope. Should however, this not lead to a proposed resolution, that we can recommend to our members then we will have reached the end of the line and strike action will occur.