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Postal workers in Edinburgh and other areas of Scotland are to strike with industrial action expected around the May 5th Scottish elections.
The decision to strike comes after a vote from trade unions and postal workers. Areas such as Edinburgh and the Lothians as well as Fife and Stirling could be affected by the strike. The catalyst for the strike came following the dismissal of a worker in 2014 following some items going missing on his route.
Dave Mitchell was dismissed after some “test” items went missing, however, the worker maintained his innocence and won his employment tribunal after taking legal action. Despite a judge ruling that Mr. Mitchell should be reinstated in his position, this was refused by Royal Mail, leading to the industrial action.
It is understood that 52% of the CWU membership voted to strike as a result of the decision to not reinstate Mr. Mitchell, with workers having previously held a silent protest and previous, smaller-scale strikes.
Ray Ellis, the CWU assistant secretary, said: “We have got a ‘yes’ vote from Dave Mitchell’s colleagues in the branch but we now seeking urgent talks with Royal Mail to resolve the issue.”.
Stephen Gethins, the MP for North East Fife, urged Royal Mail to reinstate Mr Mitchell saying “this should not be that difficult to resolve”.
He added: “Dave has a huge amount of support from local communities in north-east Fife, who have shown tremendous support for him during this difficult period. It is clear that he also enjoys support from those he worked with in Cupar and elsewhere in Scotland.
“This has always been a simple case of fairness and Royal Mail respecting the decisions of the employment tribunal. The ball is very firmly in Royal Mail’s court, and I hope that they will look at reinstating my constituent and respecting the decisions of the tribunal. This should not be that difficult to resolve.”
Despite the pressure to reinstate the worker, Royal Mail have continually refused to comply with the employment tribunal.
A Royal Mail spokeswoman said: “Royal Mail is very disappointed CWU members across four postcodes in the east of Scotland have voted for industrial action over an employment tribunal case. Any action or threat of action is damaging to our business.
“In this case, there was sufficient evidence for us to dismiss Mr Mitchell. Four out of five test pieces of mail for Mr. Mitchell’s delivery frame went missing on three separate occasions. All other test items in this office for other employees were delivered correctly.
“We are continuing to talk to our people and unions about this matter. We have robust contingency plans in place to ensure we continue to deliver a high-quality service to affected postcode areas.”
Each year, many workers are dismissed due to breaching their contract or failing to comply with their contract, however, sadly, many are also unfairly dismissed or mistreated in the workplace. Thankfully, the law is there to help those who believe they have been unfairly treated. If you think you could be entitled to compensation following an unfair dismissal, or for any other employment advice, contact our team of expert employment solicitors today using our online contact form.