Postal workers could go on strike amid docked snow pay claims

Royal Mail staff in east and central Scotland could be going on strike after claiming their pay has been docked during the heavy snow. Pic Ian Rutherford
Royal Mail staff in east and central Scotland could be going on strike after claiming their pay has been docked during the heavy snow. Pic Ian Rutherford
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Royal Mail workers across Edinburgh and the Lothians are being asked to vote for industrial action after claiming to have been “penalised” by the extreme weather to hit the Capital.

Postal workers in east central Scotland were told to attend work in the heavy snow despite a red weather warning.

The CWU claims postal workers are being "penalised" for listening to police and Scottish Government advice.

The CWU claims postal workers are being "penalised" for listening to police and Scottish Government advice.

Scottish Government ministers urged people to stay off the roads unless their journey was absolutely essential and Lothian Buses services were cancelled as much of the city ground to a standstill.

Members of staff failing to show for work were told their pay would be cut or they could take annual leave.

Royal Mail says it has a “clear adverse weather policy” in place for when employees are unable to make it into work.

Gary Clark, of the Communications Workers Union which represents around 2,800 postal workers in east central Scotland, said Royal Mail has left them with no alternative but to consider strike action.

He said: “Our members have been left angry after they were told to take a day’s annual leave, make up the hours or lose money.

“The workers are being penalised for listening to clear advice which is absolutely ridiculous.

“The government has issued a warning to the public and members were unable to get into work.

“The last thing we want to do is take strike action but the Royal Mail has left us with no option.”

It comes after angry Marks & Spencer staff hit out at their employer for listening to police advice on March 1 during the treacherous weather with a “likely” risk to life.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced a “Fair Work” charter will be developed with the Scottish Trades Union Congress in a bid to stop staff being forced to travel to work in severe weather,

A Royal Mail spokesperson said: “Royal Mail has had no official notice of any ballot for strike action.

“Royal Mail has a clear adverse weather policy for employees who are unable to get into work.

“Employees should, in the first instance speak to their line manager about any issues. All employees are able to use annual leave or make up the time lost.

“Employees can also if they prefer take unpaid time off if they are unable to attend work.

“If a site has been closed by the business or, because of disruption there is no work to be processed or delivered, employees would receive their normal pay.”