Southampton postal workers walk out after postman is suspended

Southampton postal workers walk out after postman is suspended

Southampton postal workers stage an impromptu walkout.

Postman Chris Lawrie was suspended by Royal Mail for allegedly not completing deliveries.

First published in News Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Health Reporter

Southampton postal workers took impromptu industrial action in a dispute over working hours.

Ninety workers at Shirley Delivery Office walked out after colleague Chris Lawrie was suspended for allegedly not completing his deliveries.

Postal chaos was narrowly avoided after Communication Workers Union (CWU) bosses convinced the staff to return to their jobs after an hour.

Although it was a short strike, workers confirmed deliveries in Shirley, Millbrook, Lordshill, Bassett and parts of Chilworth could be affected today.

Rob Hayhurst, area CWU rep, said the industrial action was the result of months of “bullying and harassment” over shift length.

He said: “Say for example you finish at 2pm but there’s lots of mail still to deliver, the procedure is that you call in and say you’ll bring it back for someone else to deliver. But recently we have been put under pressure and threatened with suspensions or docked pay to complete deliveries, even if we finish much later than we should.

“This deputy found himself in that situation and normally he would have worked on but on this day he couldn’t.

“He came in this morning to find himself suspended and so we took this action in response to that.”

Mr Lawrie, a postman who has worked at the Shirley office for 13 years, said he was suspended for “intentional delay of mail” but claims he worked his allotted hours and needed to finish on time to collect his children from school.

He said: “I followed my job to the letter. If a lorry blocks the road or if an old lady takes longer to answer the door because she is on a stair lift it adds time to your route and makes it more difficult to complete.

“My shift finished and I needed to pick up my kids but I was pressured and told if I cannot finish my route I would be suspended. What am I supposed to do?

“I feel let down by the procedures because we agreed to follow a process which management are not following.”

Mr Lawrie said his suspension was to be reviewed tomorrow.

A spokesman said “Royal Mail is disappointed at the unofficial action which took place this morning at Shirley delivery office. “We are pleased that colleagues have returned to work and we will focus on ensuring there is minimal impact on our service to customers. “We will now follow our normal conduct procedures for investigating the matter.”

Comments (17)

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1:50pm Thu 9 Jan 14

Maine Lobster says...

Good on Mr Lawrie for standing by his working arrangements and well done to his colleagues for supporting him against the bullying here. If the Royal Mail have more mail than he can deliver in his allocated shift, it means they are understaffed. People have lives and responsibilities outside work. His employer can't just force him to work on. Did they expect thim to just forget his children? Ridiculous. Hire more people Royal Mail, lots of people on the dole!
Good on Mr Lawrie for standing by his working arrangements and well done to his colleagues for supporting him against the bullying here. If the Royal Mail have more mail than he can deliver in his allocated shift, it means they are understaffed. People have lives and responsibilities outside work. His employer can't just force him to work on. Did they expect thim to just forget his children? Ridiculous. Hire more people Royal Mail, lots of people on the dole! Maine Lobster
  • Score: 38

2:22pm Thu 9 Jan 14

benjen says...

well done to the colleagues for giving their support, more and more people nowadays just look after number one.
well done to the colleagues for giving their support, more and more people nowadays just look after number one. benjen
  • Score: 25

4:23pm Thu 9 Jan 14

OSPREYSAINT says...

Still the blooming bills found their way through! Well done Posties.
Still the blooming bills found their way through! Well done Posties. OSPREYSAINT
  • Score: 7

5:44pm Thu 9 Jan 14

Betelg. says...

What a load of ****. My mate works for Royal Mail, does his job properly and he says most of the issues are because people are just way too lazy.... Management only want them to work for the money they get and let's be honest, for £9.50 an hour it really is not much... Cleaners have to work more than postmen and they only earl £6... He's just joined recently and has seen the world out there.... Most of the postmen haven't had an other job before so have no clue
What a load of ****. My mate works for Royal Mail, does his job properly and he says most of the issues are because people are just way too lazy.... Management only want them to work for the money they get and let's be honest, for £9.50 an hour it really is not much... Cleaners have to work more than postmen and they only earl £6... He's just joined recently and has seen the world out there.... Most of the postmen haven't had an other job before so have no clue Betelg.
  • Score: -20

6:10pm Thu 9 Jan 14

This is the Real World says...

Betelg. wrote:
What a load of ****. My mate works for Royal Mail, does his job properly and he says most of the issues are because people are just way too lazy.... Management only want them to work for the money they get and let's be honest, for £9.50 an hour it really is not much... Cleaners have to work more than postmen and they only earl £6... He's just joined recently and has seen the world out there.... Most of the postmen haven't had an other job before so have no clue
I have a couple of friends at Royal Mai as postiesl and they say the same. Apparently the union are missing out some facts.
[quote][p][bold]Betelg.[/bold] wrote: What a load of ****. My mate works for Royal Mail, does his job properly and he says most of the issues are because people are just way too lazy.... Management only want them to work for the money they get and let's be honest, for £9.50 an hour it really is not much... Cleaners have to work more than postmen and they only earl £6... He's just joined recently and has seen the world out there.... Most of the postmen haven't had an other job before so have no clue[/p][/quote]I have a couple of friends at Royal Mai as postiesl and they say the same. Apparently the union are missing out some facts. This is the Real World
  • Score: -19

6:17pm Thu 9 Jan 14

Bigtoe12 says...

I work as a postman in a depot in the area and cannot believe how easy this job actually is and also the total meal of it the "old guard" make of the job. I'm not a union member, and would have happily worked through this pointless action by other staff as it's illegal and they won't get paid for it. Also fair play to Royal Mail for sticking to their guns and finally starting tackling the ineptitude and laziness that is endemic within this company. I work hard every day, like some others, only to see the majority of staff doing the minimum they can get away with, yet we both get paid the same!! These people have a job for life attitude, and if they don't wake up and smell the coffee they will see other commercial companies stealing business from Royal Mail just at the time when we need to all work together and hold onto our dominate market share. If not then it won't be long until there is no RM and they will find that working in the real world is a cut-throat place, and a huge number will be out looking for jobs that aren't there. Get with it or GET OUT!!
I work as a postman in a depot in the area and cannot believe how easy this job actually is and also the total meal of it the "old guard" make of the job. I'm not a union member, and would have happily worked through this pointless action by other staff as it's illegal and they won't get paid for it. Also fair play to Royal Mail for sticking to their guns and finally starting tackling the ineptitude and laziness that is endemic within this company. I work hard every day, like some others, only to see the majority of staff doing the minimum they can get away with, yet we both get paid the same!! These people have a job for life attitude, and if they don't wake up and smell the coffee they will see other commercial companies stealing business from Royal Mail just at the time when we need to all work together and hold onto our dominate market share. If not then it won't be long until there is no RM and they will find that working in the real world is a cut-throat place, and a huge number will be out looking for jobs that aren't there. Get with it or GET OUT!! Bigtoe12
  • Score: -20

7:05pm Thu 9 Jan 14

100%HANTSBOY says...

Lazy bast4rds....when am I gonna get my post before 4 p.m. they should privatise it,that'll sort it!
Lazy bast4rds....when am I gonna get my post before 4 p.m. they should privatise it,that'll sort it! 100%HANTSBOY
  • Score: -18

7:07pm Thu 9 Jan 14

Downie says...

Mr Lawrie has been our postman for many years and I have found him to be the most reliable and conscientious postman I have come across for a long time.He goes above and beyond the call of duty. He is always cheerful and helpful no matter what the weather throws at him. The postofffice should be doing all they can to keep and reward this employee rather than suspending him for putting his children first,having done his days' work. Hopefully this man will be welcomed back with open arms to continue the first class service he has always provided.
Mr Lawrie has been our postman for many years and I have found him to be the most reliable and conscientious postman I have come across for a long time.He goes above and beyond the call of duty. He is always cheerful and helpful no matter what the weather throws at him. The postofffice should be doing all they can to keep and reward this employee rather than suspending him for putting his children first,having done his days' work. Hopefully this man will be welcomed back with open arms to continue the first class service he has always provided. Downie
  • Score: 22

7:20pm Thu 9 Jan 14

billygoatgruff says...

I fail to understand some of the comments on here whereby some people think this man is out of order for not working over his time. Most people in all kinds of work want to do their time then go home,I know I do.
I fail to understand some of the comments on here whereby some people think this man is out of order for not working over his time. Most people in all kinds of work want to do their time then go home,I know I do. billygoatgruff
  • Score: 17

8:27pm Thu 9 Jan 14

dolomiteman says...

There is some missing facts here, legally an employer can not suspend someone for a minor employment infringement (not that this was even that) on the first occasion they do it.
There is some missing facts here, legally an employer can not suspend someone for a minor employment infringement (not that this was even that) on the first occasion they do it. dolomiteman
  • Score: 0

8:52pm Thu 9 Jan 14

Turtlebay says...

Royal Mail needs to learn what the term 'contract' means as applied to employees!
Royal Mail needs to learn what the term 'contract' means as applied to employees! Turtlebay
  • Score: 5

9:23pm Thu 9 Jan 14

Maine Lobster says...

Bigtoe12 wrote:
I work as a postman in a depot in the area and cannot believe how easy this job actually is and also the total meal of it the "old guard" make of the job. I'm not a union member, and would have happily worked through this pointless action by other staff as it's illegal and they won't get paid for it. Also fair play to Royal Mail for sticking to their guns and finally starting tackling the ineptitude and laziness that is endemic within this company. I work hard every day, like some others, only to see the majority of staff doing the minimum they can get away with, yet we both get paid the same!! These people have a job for life attitude, and if they don't wake up and smell the coffee they will see other commercial companies stealing business from Royal Mail just at the time when we need to all work together and hold onto our dominate market share. If not then it won't be long until there is no RM and they will find that working in the real world is a cut-throat place, and a huge number will be out looking for jobs that aren't there. Get with it or GET OUT!!
It sounds like you are a manager in the making! Your comments seem to have little support and attitudes like yours suggest you have no concept or appreciation of standing up for employment rights and supporting your colleagues. If you don't like working in such an awful place and don't want unions, why don't you leave?
[quote][p][bold]Bigtoe12[/bold] wrote: I work as a postman in a depot in the area and cannot believe how easy this job actually is and also the total meal of it the "old guard" make of the job. I'm not a union member, and would have happily worked through this pointless action by other staff as it's illegal and they won't get paid for it. Also fair play to Royal Mail for sticking to their guns and finally starting tackling the ineptitude and laziness that is endemic within this company. I work hard every day, like some others, only to see the majority of staff doing the minimum they can get away with, yet we both get paid the same!! These people have a job for life attitude, and if they don't wake up and smell the coffee they will see other commercial companies stealing business from Royal Mail just at the time when we need to all work together and hold onto our dominate market share. If not then it won't be long until there is no RM and they will find that working in the real world is a cut-throat place, and a huge number will be out looking for jobs that aren't there. Get with it or GET OUT!![/p][/quote]It sounds like you are a manager in the making! Your comments seem to have little support and attitudes like yours suggest you have no concept or appreciation of standing up for employment rights and supporting your colleagues. If you don't like working in such an awful place and don't want unions, why don't you leave? Maine Lobster
  • Score: 6

9:40pm Thu 9 Jan 14

This is the Real World says...

Bigtoe12 wrote:
I work as a postman in a depot in the area and cannot believe how easy this job actually is and also the total meal of it the "old guard" make of the job. I'm not a union member, and would have happily worked through this pointless action by other staff as it's illegal and they won't get paid for it. Also fair play to Royal Mail for sticking to their guns and finally starting tackling the ineptitude and laziness that is endemic within this company. I work hard every day, like some others, only to see the majority of staff doing the minimum they can get away with, yet we both get paid the same!! These people have a job for life attitude, and if they don't wake up and smell the coffee they will see other commercial companies stealing business from Royal Mail just at the time when we need to all work together and hold onto our dominate market share. If not then it won't be long until there is no RM and they will find that working in the real world is a cut-throat place, and a huge number will be out looking for jobs that aren't there. Get with it or GET OUT!!
Well said and the two posties I know feel the same. Unfortunately a unionised work force will ruin Royal Mail
I can guarantee that when these fools find out it will to late. The company I work for in Southampton will be moving business else where.
[quote][p][bold]Bigtoe12[/bold] wrote: I work as a postman in a depot in the area and cannot believe how easy this job actually is and also the total meal of it the "old guard" make of the job. I'm not a union member, and would have happily worked through this pointless action by other staff as it's illegal and they won't get paid for it. Also fair play to Royal Mail for sticking to their guns and finally starting tackling the ineptitude and laziness that is endemic within this company. I work hard every day, like some others, only to see the majority of staff doing the minimum they can get away with, yet we both get paid the same!! These people have a job for life attitude, and if they don't wake up and smell the coffee they will see other commercial companies stealing business from Royal Mail just at the time when we need to all work together and hold onto our dominate market share. If not then it won't be long until there is no RM and they will find that working in the real world is a cut-throat place, and a huge number will be out looking for jobs that aren't there. Get with it or GET OUT!![/p][/quote]Well said and the two posties I know feel the same. Unfortunately a unionised work force will ruin Royal Mail I can guarantee that when these fools find out it will to late. The company I work for in Southampton will be moving business else where. This is the Real World
  • Score: -8

10:18am Fri 10 Jan 14

Folkestone Saint says...

Betelg. wrote:
What a load of ****. My mate works for Royal Mail, does his job properly and he says most of the issues are because people are just way too lazy.... Management only want them to work for the money they get and let's be honest, for £9.50 an hour it really is not much... Cleaners have to work more than postmen and they only earl £6... He's just joined recently and has seen the world out there.... Most of the postmen haven't had an other job before so have no clue
I think you don't have a clue, to quote "He's just joined recently and has seen the world out there" if you bothered to read the story it says " Mr Lawrie, a postman who has worked at the Shirley office for 13 years", you also suggest maybe he should work for free, would you? and enforced overtime is illegal in this country so that people can live as well as work, not just work, as an employer I am not biased just fair.
[quote][p][bold]Betelg.[/bold] wrote: What a load of ****. My mate works for Royal Mail, does his job properly and he says most of the issues are because people are just way too lazy.... Management only want them to work for the money they get and let's be honest, for £9.50 an hour it really is not much... Cleaners have to work more than postmen and they only earl £6... He's just joined recently and has seen the world out there.... Most of the postmen haven't had an other job before so have no clue[/p][/quote]I think you don't have a clue, to quote "He's just joined recently and has seen the world out there" if you bothered to read the story it says " Mr Lawrie, a postman who has worked at the Shirley office for 13 years", you also suggest maybe he should work for free, would you? and enforced overtime is illegal in this country so that people can live as well as work, not just work, as an employer I am not biased just fair. Folkestone Saint
  • Score: 10

2:05pm Fri 10 Jan 14

SilvanDryad says...

F Saint I think you have misread Betelg's (incoherent) post. I believe he was referring to his friend the newly employed postman, and not to the Mr Lawrie, whose suspension caused the walk out.
F Saint I think you have misread Betelg's (incoherent) post. I believe he was referring to his friend the newly employed postman, and not to the Mr Lawrie, whose suspension caused the walk out. SilvanDryad
  • Score: 0

6:24pm Fri 10 Jan 14

Folkestone Saint says...

SilvanDryad wrote:
F Saint I think you have misread Betelg's (incoherent) post. I believe he was referring to his friend the newly employed postman, and not to the Mr Lawrie, whose suspension caused the walk out.
Thanks Silvan, you may well be right, having read it and re-read again it's a pissabollity, I did once work at Euro-tunnel and there it was a case of last one in did all the work whilst the others played cards and had hour long tea breaks, so I realise it could be the same in his case too.
[quote][p][bold]SilvanDryad[/bold] wrote: F Saint I think you have misread Betelg's (incoherent) post. I believe he was referring to his friend the newly employed postman, and not to the Mr Lawrie, whose suspension caused the walk out.[/p][/quote]Thanks Silvan, you may well be right, having read it and re-read again it's a pissabollity, I did once work at Euro-tunnel and there it was a case of last one in did all the work whilst the others played cards and had hour long tea breaks, so I realise it could be the same in his case too. Folkestone Saint
  • Score: 1

9:02pm Sat 11 Jan 14

Niel says...

I wonder what round he was on? North-West 21 was a real b'stard back in my day, along with East 4, often used as 'punishment' rounds by Doug P. Justice of the Peace and PEB. If you got stuck on those you knew your days were limited...
I wonder what round he was on? North-West 21 was a real b'stard back in my day, along with East 4, often used as 'punishment' rounds by Doug P. Justice of the Peace and PEB. If you got stuck on those you knew your days were limited... Niel
  • Score: 0

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