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Highland postal strike not ruled out in row over treatment of disabled Royal Mail staff in Inverness

By Alasdair Fraser

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A mail strike in Inverness could hit deliveries across the Highlands and Islands.
A mail strike in Inverness could hit deliveries across the Highlands and Islands.

The Communications Workers Union (CWU) says it will press on with industrial action later this month if Royal Mail fails to act satisfactorily on concerns it has raised.

Bosses from Royal Mail have agreed to fully investigate the alleged mistreatment of disabled staff in Inverness.

The union has accused a senior manager of breaking the law by issuing workplace attendance reviews in an effort to force staff from their jobs.

CWU representatives compiled a 16-page body of evidence they said proved lower grade managers had been repeatedly instructed to target disabled employees.

Royal Mail previously said it had fully investigated the matter, with findings conveyed “to the relevant parties”.

But the CWU insisted this was untrue, accusing the firm of breaking past promises to review the treatment of 43 workers in Inverness.

The union was close to serving legal notice of its intention to ballot Inverness members on industrial action, with a strike pencilled in for mid-March.

But the CWU has now pulled back from the brink after talks with company chiefs.

In a letter to local members, a local union representative explained: “Late on Friday night, with the threat of notice being served, an agreement was proposed.

“(Royal Mail) will review all cases and investigate actions by managers. A senior person from human resources has agreed to do this.

“(CWU acting assistant secretary) Carl Maden will meet with Royal Mail on March 10 to discuss the review of cases and actions by managers.

“If we are not happy with the outcome of the investigation we can still ballot at this point.

“We will take stock and decide whether we’re happy with the outcome.”

Mr Maden said: “It is a big move forward but, clearly, if Royal Mail comes back saying nothing is wrong with these cases, we can still serve notice of our intention to ballot.”

Royal Mail said it had nothing to add.

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