Union hits out at mail delivery charge in the Isle of Axholme
UNION bosses have criticised changes to mail delivery routes in Crowle which they say have caused problems over the past 18 months.
Changes made by Royal Mail to the way it delivers post in North Lincolnshire have seen new delivery methods and the adoption of new routes in an attempt to modernise the way the firm operates.
But just weeks after the revised delivery routes were introduced, there were reports of mail mix-ups and delays in the town.
At the time, three employees from Crowle Delivery Office were suspended pending an investigation by the Royal Mail Security Team relating to the intentional delay of mail.
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Two of them were dismissed, while a tribunal is ongoing for another who remains suspended. However, a fourth, George McKinlay, was sacked last month on the same grounds.
Now the Communication Workers' Union (CWU) has spoken out on the changes.
Julia West, CWU Doncaster and district branch secretary, said: "We're very concerned about the case of Mr McKinlay. There have been problems with changes at Crowle over the past 18 months. Royal Mail and CWU have reviewed the situation at Crowle to tackle problems being experienced by some delivery staff.
"Postal workers' concerns should be taken into account and fed into the planning of routes and workloads."
George McKinlay, 54, of Crowland Road, Crowle, has rejected the option of an appeal over his dismissal to break his silence in the hope that Royal Mail will take action.
Mr McKinlay said: "I'd been working until 7pm and I still wasn't getting everything delivered.
"It all started with the changes last year – there's a lack of staff and there are large volumes of mail.
"I lost my job because I left my mail – there was that much post I couldn't get it finished so I left some in my postbag in the delivery office to be delivered the following day. I made a mistake and I know I shouldn't have done it but I was under too much pressure."
Royal Mail spokeswoman Felicity MacFarlane said: "This employee was dismissed following an investigation by Royal Mail security team relating to the intentional delay of mail. It is our understanding that he is now not going ahead with his appeal.
"Royal Mail is going through one of the biggest change programmes in the UK. With declining letter volumes and a significant increase in the number of parcels, Royal Mail needs to organise our delivery routes to be as efficient as possible.
"We are investing in new equipment to make our deliveries more efficient. Changes and issues raised are fully discussed with the trade union and our people. We are in full consultation with our people currently working on the Crowle delivery routes to make sure we achieve the best operational solution for our employees and customers in the area."