Mail staff fury over festive pay delays

Alan Brown says he has not been paid
Alan Brown says he has not been paid
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HUNDREDS of workers have been caught up in payment problems with Royal Mail, with dozens having gone weeks without wages, union bosses claimed today.

The Communication Workers Union said those who were employed by Royal Mail’s in-house employment agency, Angard, over the festive period at its South Gyle and Bathgate sorting offices were affected.

A union spokesman said it was believed 700 workers had been affected, with as many as 70 still waiting on payments.

Royal Mail today fiercely denied the claims.

Simon Jones, 32, who lives in Stenhouse with wife Gemma and five-year-old son Daniel, said he is still owed £900.

He said: “The whole thing is an absolute farce. All I have had from them is £99. I phone them every couple of days and I give them the same story every time, and each time they say someone will call you back in a couple of days and they never do.

“We’re relying on that money to pay our bills and rent. The other day I was struggling to get the money for my son’s lunch.

“It’s disgusting the way they have treated us. The Royal Mail managers have just washed their hands of it.”

Alan Brown, 56, from Mayfield near Dalkeith, began work at the Sighthill depot as a general employee on December 5.

He said he is still out of pocket to the tune of £1940.

“I’m sitting here with no gas and no electricity – it’s not nice, I can tell you,” he said.

“I worked there seven days a week, 12 hours a day. I still haven’t been paid and I haven’t had any correspondence from the company concerned.”

Mr Brown also claimed that on January 9 – just ten minutes before the end of a shift – dozens of workers were told their contracts had been terminated.

He said: “The other day, Angard told me they were going to pay me an emergency cheque of £200, but I didn’t receive anything.”

A Communication Workers Union spokesman said: “The situation is diabolical. We have had people coming to us and saying they have only been paid once in the past eight weeks.”

The spokesman added the union was aware of problems across the country.

However, a Royal Mail spokeswoman claimed the cases were exceptions.

Ian McKay, director of Scottish affairs for Royal Mail, said: “We do not recognise these claims for the number of our seasonal workers in Edinburgh affected by payroll issues over Christmas.

“We do not accept that 700 of the 700-plus seasonal staff were affected in this way.

“We have checked the position of seasonal staff involved and refute that some ten per cent of those staff have not been paid for their work.

“We did have payroll issues over the Christmas period for seasonal workers and we have worked hard to resolve those issues, and apologised to those colleagues affected.

“The overwhelming majority of our Christmas workers have been paid on time.”

dawn.morrison@edinburghnews.com