A postal worker speaks
Interview conducted by Gerry Fitzsimons
14 February 2006
“The postal workers at Belfast Sorting Office at Tomb Street went out on all out unofficial strike at the beginning of February to draw attention to the campaign of bullying by Post Office management. The strike began when it became clear that management had sunk to a new low in their tactics.
In these times of macho management union members and employees are better versed in the ways of how to combat bullying: you keep a record of the incidents and then put the evidence to the Union or management and then perhaps if you’re lucky a tribunal may find in your favour. As things stood before the strike a number of postal workers were keeping records of the bullying incidents.
The strike began when one worker’s notebook of the incidents was removed by internal investigators form his place of work (BT13 Shankill sorting office) and photocopied. Management then issued a statement saying that they had evidence that management car registration numbers were be collected and that this was evidence of bullying by the workers of managers.
The Post Office management have now publicly admitted that that was not true. It is totally understandable and acceptable for postal workers to oppose these lies and victimization of their colleagues. Workers who have evidence and wish to use the grievance procedure should of course be allowed to do so. Not according to the Union Official who arrived form London to stop the strike - which he had the gall to call ‘sinister’. The public also disappointed the news media by being largely supportive of the strike as it could be clearly be seen that it was a well supported right up until the end. This is despite the fact that the actual details of the removal and photocopying of the notebook and the allegation of bullying by the management against its owner was only partially made known.”