Postal strike looms over Royal Mail sacked worker

Picture: TSPL
Picture: TSPL
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The result of a strike ballot which could see postal deliveries stopped in large area of Scotland is due tomorrow.

If the ballot returns a vote mail will be disrupted in the EH Edinburgh and the Lothians,TD Borders,FK Stirling and surrounding area and KY Glenrothes and Fife, postcodes.

The dispute centres round Dave Mitchell, 57, who lost his job in December 2014 after a number of “test” items, including a greetings card with gift vouchers and money inside, went missing.

Mr Mitchell, from Chance Inn, Cupar, who had 27 years service with Royal Mail, maintains he is innocent and took his case to an employment tribunal.

Tribunal judge Ian McFatridge twice ordered Mr Mitchell’s reinstatement but Royal Mail has refused to comply with the ruling.

Former colleagues have held two 24-hour strikes - one the week before Christmas last year and the second in January 2016.

There have also been a number of ‘silent’ protests outside the Cupar delivery office organised by former customers, family and friends. Stephen Gethins, SNP MP, is also fighting on behalf of Mr Mitchell.

Kenny Logan, Scotland branch secretary of the Communications Workers Union, said strike action looked likely.

“I firmly believe we’ll get a massive “Yes” vote from our members. This should get Royal Mail to look again at their decision on sacking Dave Mitchell.

“Strike action will be on the cards if Royal Mail do not adhere to the two main points we’ve made to them over this case.

“Firstly, we want to see Mr Mitchell reinstated, and secondly, we want to see an independent review which would be legally binding.”

Mr Mitchell said: “The main thing is that this could happen to any postie throughout the country.

“If they feel they’ve been unfairly dismissed they do what I did, go to a tribunal and win it, and not get their job back. I’m keeping my fingers crossed the ballot will go my way.

“But I will not give up. I’ve done absolutely nothing wrong. Twenty-seven years of service with the Royal Mail and this is what I get. I just want justice.”

A Royal Mail spokeswoman said: “Royal Mail is disappointed that the CWU (the Communications Union) is balloting its members across four postcodes in the east of Scotland for industrial action over an employment tribunal case.

“We are continuing to talk to our people and unions about this matter.

“A ballot for industrial action does not mean that any action will take place.”