POSTMEN in Hedge End walked out of the office last week claiming their health and safety concerns weren’t being addressed.

The posties removed themselves from the “unsafe workplace” for four hours on Thursday, April 2, claiming bosses were treating the staff “with no respect”.

However, Royal Mail said it had resolved its employees' concerns following "a short disruption".

Rob Hayhurst, the area delivery representative for 19 Royal Mail branches, including the Hedge End office, claimed there were not enough social distancing measures in place within the offices, and staff were not given personal protection equipment when out delivering post.

“This has been bubbling up for a number of weeks, since this all began," he said.

"There is not enough social distancing and that’s why the workers cracked.

"Staff have been told that all they need to do is wash their hands but this isn’t enough.

"Managers are making low efforts and they haven’t handed out any equipment, they’ve been totally inept.

“Within 10 minutes of walking out because of the health and safety, staff were given hand sanitiser and now bosses are running through hoops and changing the structure of the office, but they’ve been too slow to respond."

Another worker, who didn’t want to be named, said: “I have friends who have been told that this virus is ‘just a cough’ and that we need to wash our hands.

"How are we supposed to wash our hands on a four hour shift delivering post? It’s just ridiculous and some of us are having to supply our own equipment.

“They look down on us and treat us with no respect.”

The posties at the Hedge End branch were out of the office for around four hours, going outside from 6.30am until 10.30am in protest.

Royal Mail has defended its health and safety policies, saying it takes it “very seriously”.

A spokesperson said: “There was a short disruption to services at the Hedge End delivery office.

"Working with our people, we have resolved any areas of concern.

"All colleagues returned to work and are operating as normal.

"Royal Mail takes the health and safety of its colleagues, its customers and the local communities in which we operate very seriously.”