Post Office meltdown fears
Katie Davies A SENIOR postman in Hampstead has warned the mail service is going to be absolutely devastated by the end of the year, following a barrage of cuts. Several workers at the Shepherd s Walk depot contacted the Ham&High this week warning the s
A SENIOR postman in Hampstead has warned the mail service is going to be "absolutely devastated" by the end of the year, following a barrage of cuts.
Several workers at the Shepherd's Walk depot contacted the Ham&High this week warning the service will get worse because of staffing cuts.
They have also apologised to residents who received no mail on Friday or Saturday because cheaper post office casual workers were called in and bungled the job.
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Tony Davies, Communication Workers Union Representative for North West London, has warned there will be even bigger problems to come.
"We have lost an awful lot of jobs which means we are shortstaffed in areas like Hampstead," he said. "They [Royal Mail] are now bringing in casuals who have no contract and don't know where they are going and the service is suffering.
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"In an area like Hampstead you've got lots of alleys, named houses and houses divided into flats and these casuals don't know the area.
"It is going to get worse. At the moment we've got 57 postmen working full-time across Hampstead - they want to reduce that to 37 and then they want to make one third of those postmen part-time.
"Hampstead is a main target because it has postmen who are full-time. They are going to make further cuts by the end of this year or the end of the financial year. The service is going to be absolutely devastated."
Two postmen called the Ham&High on Tuesday criticising bosses and apologising for the poor level of service over the bank holiday weekend. One, who has worked in Hampstead for eight years, said: "They've brought the casuals back and they said they would never ever do that again here.
"Areas like Belsize Park Gardens got no mail on Friday or Saturday. The casuals come in and they've never done the job before.
"One casual went out with the mail for Belsize Park Gardens and brought it all back to the sorting office so the road went without mail for two days."
Royal Mail was contacted by the Ham&High about the complaints but refused to comment.