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
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.
“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
“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
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.
“We are disappointed that
they took this action.”