Royal Mail says ‘solution has been found’ after claims of strike action threat at Northampton sorting office

Royal Mail's South Midlands Mail Centre, Swan Valley Way
Royal Mail's South Midlands Mail Centre, Swan Valley Way
  • Union has concerns about excess warnings over sickness absence
  • A total of 385 late shift workers in Swan Valley asked for ballot
  • Centre handles mail and parcels for four counties

Royal Mail says it has held “productive talks” with union members after claims of a ballot for strike action at the sorting depot in Northampton.

Earlier this week, it was claimed that Communication Workers Union (CWU) members on the late shift at the South Midlands mail centre -in Swan Valley - had voted unanimously for a ballot after concerns over “excessive” warnings for absences.

A crisis has occurred regarding the late shift

A CWU source

The CWU said there was a vote among its members on Tuesday evening.

A CWU source said: “A crisis has occurred regarding the late shift. It is our belief that management have targets for issuing warnings to staff over their sickness record and that has created a climate of fear.”

A total of 10 grievance complaints have been made to bosses over the issue, the CWU claims, with more pending.

The Swan Valley-based centre handles letters and packages from Northamptonshire, Leicestershire, Milton Keynes, Coventry and Warwickshire.

But a Royal Mail spokeswoman said it had not received any formal notification from the CWU about the ballot.

She said: “We are fully committed to continue to work together with the Communication Workers Union to resolve local concerns raised on the application of an agreement reached nationally with the union.

“A productive meeting took place on Wednesday at South Midlands Mail Centre and a way forward to resolve this issue has been identified.”