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Post Strike Ballot In Coventry Dispute

Post delivery workers in Coventry today decided to hold a ballot on industrial action in a row over working hours.

Their decision, taken shortly after 5am, follows an unofficial stoppage on Saturday that affected deliveries in Coventry, Kenilworth and north Warwickshire.

Union leaders say the dispute comes from a failure by local managers to implement a national agreement over a five-day working week.

The initiative was due to transfer all delivery staff to a system where they worked five days out of six, making it a 40-hour week instead of 41.5.

But they claim that managers at the Bishop Street sorting office, the largest in the country, have refused to introduce the new arrangements because of the impact it would have on their budgets.

In Rugby and Atherstone, all the delivery staff have been transferred to a five-day week, but in Coventry only 30 per cent of workers are benefiting from the new arrangements.

Divisional representative Mick Kavanagh of the Communication Workers’ Union said he would now seek permission form Union headquarters to hold an official strike ballot.

If he is given the go-ahead, the vote will be held in the next two or three weeks.

He said:

“We had an agreement last year to make these changes, but locally it hasn’t happened. We have put forward a suggestion, which we will believe will meet the national agreement.

“But the managers say they cannot do it because it will have an impact on their budgets. This should be a separate issue.”

Royal Mail spokesman Richard Hall said:

“We are disappointed that they took this action.”

He added that extra resources were being made available to free up managers’ time to sort out the new arrangements, and union representatives were being included in that process.
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CWN / Business / A-Z / Royal Mail / 21 Aug 00

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This page modified on 10 November 2008 09:49:15AM