Birmingham postal workers ballot for strike after sacking of colleague with anxiety and depression

Birmingham postal workers are balloting for strike action after the sacking of a colleague with medically diagnosed anxiety and depression.

The man, who works at the city’s Shirley Delivery Office, was dismissed in February after accumulated absences from these conditions ‘triggered’ an official company limit.

However, according to the 2010 Equality Act, absences from work caused by chronic and ongoing medically diagnosed conditions should not count towards disciplinary procedures.

His fellow workers at the unit protested immediately, but a strike was temporarily averted when the management promised the CWU that they would allow an appeal against the penalty.

But according to CWU Birmingham & District Amal Branch secretary Steve Reid, “on top of a downright wrong decision to discipline in the first place, neither the dismissal nor the appeal seem to have been conducted appropriately.”

Reports Steve Reid has received from unit, area and divisional representatives directly representing the member indicate several “profoundly unjust and unfair” actions by the business in this case.

He said: “I’ve been told that the manager who made the initial dismissal verdict refused to interview either the Shirley Delivery Office manager, the office unit rep, or the members’ work-partner.

“And it’s also been reported to me that, during the appeal, the appeals manager refused to meet face to face with the dismissing manager – instead, just exchanging emails.”

The union’s Postal Executive met and formally approved the request of the Shirley Delivery Officers members for a statutory strike ballot, and this will now go ahead.

Steve Reid said: “The workforce at this unit are absolutely 100% behind this member – and we held a full branch reps’ meeting this morning, with reps from all 31 Birmingham delivery units, and there is strong support and solidarity right across Birmingham and District. We demand justice.”

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