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Posties on strike as fat cat bosses pocket bonuses

PUBLISHED: 17:38 09 July 2009 | UPDATED: 16:17 07 September 2010

Hampstead sorting office Picket

Hampstead sorting office Picket

© Nigel Sutton 17 Redington Rd,London,NW37QX. Phone 020 7794 3008. email pictures@nigelsuttonphotography.com

Katie Davies MAIL services were disrupted across Camden, Haringey and Westminster as postmen went on strike opposing cuts to their working rights this week. Dozens of post office staff formed pickets at depots across the three boroughs and the rest of Lon

Katie Davies

MAIL services were disrupted across Camden, Haringey and Westminster as postmen went on strike opposing cuts to their working rights this week.

Dozens of post office staff formed pickets at depots across the three boroughs and the rest of London yesterday (Wednesday).

In the Hampstead depot they threatened further strike action after they say they discovered their managers pocketed thousands of pounds in bonuses while they received a paltry 19p and were told 35 of them face the sack by the end of the summer.

One postman on strike at the Shepherd's Walk depot said: "Our manager has just received a £3,500 bonus and the manager above him who is in charge of the area just got £9,000.

"This comes as we've been told 27 duty postmen will be lost from our office by the end of the month and on top of that, on August 3, they will be getting rid of all of those who have less than two years' service.

"Both of these managers have admitted the bonuses they got and say it is because their pay is not related to profits - so even if we lose £1million they will still get their bonuses while we get patronising 19p bonuses and 27 permanent postmen are sacked.

"Another eight will go in August - they are just throwing these youngsters on to the scrap heap after 18 months with us. They've got no chance of getting jobs elsewhere."

Casual staff are being brought in to cope with workloads of those sacked but established postmen say these workers can lead to problems as they are not versed in the geography of the area.

In the past, staff at the Hampstead depot said half-full mail trolleys have been left on the streets for days by casuals and they often just dump mail in communal areas of flats.

The London-wide protest yesterday was in reaction to a change in working conditions by Royal Mail. One is that postmen will be forced to work an extra hour on Saturdays without extra pay.

Workers in Hampstead have threatened further strike action this summer in reaction to the issues of bonuses and redundancies. The anonymous source continued: "We are all absolutely fuming - 27 out of 57 of us will be gone as well as eight newcomers. They are just running the service down and they don't care about the customers. This is the reason we will be taking further industrial action."

The Ham&High reported in May how postmen received a measly 19p bonus in their paypackets while Royal Mail chief executive Adam Crozier looked set to earn almost £500,000 in his performance-related bonuses.

A Royal Mail spokesman said: "The 19p the postmen got is not a bonus but was a payment triggered by savings made in the day-to-day running of each office. Postmen and women each received a £400 bonus.

"Furthermore, Royal Mail is not sacking anyone in Hampstead delivery office but it is clear that with mail volumes falling 10 per cent in a year and with London handling tens of thousands of letters fewer a day than last year, fewer posts will be needed and Royal Mail has a strong record of covering this through natural wastage, redeployment and voluntary redundancy. What is more, all our staff are vetted and it is incorrect to suggest otherwise."

The postmen at Hampstead say the £400 bonus was given to staff but also to managers on top of their bonuses mentioned above.


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