According to the Communication Workers Union (CWU), six postal workers have been fired from their jobs at a delivery office in the Wirral.
This follows the controversial suspension of 11 postal workers from the Prenton delivery office over a dispute involving postal workers taking cups of tea and coffee at two pubs in the Wirral during their break.
The suspensions have led to widespread disruption of postal services since July in Prenton and Oxton, with mail not arriving and some people missing hospital appointments as a result. One local, Joe Thomas, even described the situation when picking up a package at the delivery office as “chaos”.
According to the CWU, six postal workers were fired on August 11, one was not fired but was fined, and the fate of another worker is unknown. Three suspended postal workers had already been reinstated.
It is also understood that a number of postal workers not involved in the original suspension have resigned from their posts due to the situation.
A Royal Mail spokesperson said: ‘As a responsible employer, we are always investigating any incidents where the behavior of our employees has fallen below expected standards.
“Any decision to make an employee redundant is only taken in accordance with the clear rules and regulations which govern employment law for all UK businesses and our internal standards.”
The suspensions related to Caernarvon Castle in Oxton and The Swan in Prenton. Since the story was first published by the Echo, people have widely taken to social media to condemn the decision.
Birkenhead MP Mick Whitley criticized Royal Mail over it and Oxton councilor Stuart Kelly called for suspended staff to be reinstated. Cllr Kelly said: ‘Whatever their internal management issues may be, the people of Oxton and Prenton want a proper postal service and it’s essential that Royal Mail focus on that.’
A former postman said he was “sad” at the way the situation had been handled, saying “Prenton’s office was the best on the Wirral”. He added: “Everything has changed now but I loved being a postman.”
The suspensions have put deliveries under pressure in recent weeks. Royal Mail said anyone who missed mail will be given priority the next day, but some people said they hadn’t received some things for weeks.
Joe Thomas, who lives in Oxton, said he received cards weeks after his birthday and still hasn’t received a wedding invitation from a friend. He said: “People said you got cards but I didn’t. Things arrived a week later and people said they sent them on days notice.
Royal Mail said they were working to improve services, but Mr Thomas said the situation had been ‘a bit the same since then’, adding: ‘I don’t think it has gotten any better. had a thing this week but it’s the first time in a long time.”
Once he picked up a package from Prenton’s office. He said, “I asked if they had any other messages. It was chaos in there.
“He found it, but he was in the wrong place. I could tell his frustration. They work very hard and were helpful, but it was clear that it was going on.
Mr Thomas said he thought the suspension was ‘such an overreaction’, adding: ‘It’s such a lonely job being a postal worker away all day, so why not meet your colleagues?’
Deb Quayle also had issues with her post. She said: “We were lucky to get it twice a week and then you get a lot of messages from other people. He was sometimes incredibly poor.
“We normally have such good service so when things go wrong you notice. The postmen here are just brilliant. Our local postmen know my parents so if we’re not there they take them for us and we take things We’ve never had a missed package.
“Once a postman brought a package here, but he knew we had relatives who lived nearby, so he phoned the other postmen to find out where our relatives were, which was very helpful. People support them so much and they are so good.
Kevin Donovan, 77, from Birkenhead, said: ‘We know and trust our delivery staff. They work hard in all weathers and go above and beyond their duties.
“This has been particularly visible during the pandemic. They watch over the elderly neighbours, myself included, and make sure the packages find a safe place, for example at a neighbour’s, if people are not at home.”
Steve Roper said the problem had been going on for weeks and was still waiting for bank letters. He said: “It was mishandled. What’s wrong with someone having a cup of tea? I know for a fact when it was really hot I offered cans of Coke or bottles of water. “
Royal Mail has apologized to residents experiencing delays. A spokesperson said: “Efforts at the local delivery office are underway to improve this level of service. This includes further recruitment and the addition of agency staff. Mail continues to be delivered, and any person who has mail and does not receive it the day they expect them to always be priority the next day.
“Across our business, we have plans in place to increase service levels. We hope and expect to see further progress in the months to come.
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