Royal Mail workers have claimed they are being told to prioritize parcels during strikes and that letters are being “left behind for days”.
The accusation – which the Royal Mail says is not its policy – comes as workers are on strike in one of the biggest strikes in the industry in Britain today, with university lecturers and sixth-formers also taking action.
Communication Workers Union (CWU) members are also planning seven more strikes in December, including Christmas Eve.
The union said its members will be in London on December 9 for the “biggest strike demonstration this country has ever seen”.
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The claims about prioritization of packages were made by postal workers who were spoken to BBC Wales.
One of the unnamed employees said: “The first thing management will say is that no overtime is allowed and just clean up your packages and leave all the mail. So that may mean you have half a job left on the deck.
“I had a hospital appointment this week [letter] on my round, which has been there for two days.”
Another added: “It’s gotten to the point in our office that management is telling us on a daily basis to prioritize packages and tracked items over hospital appointments.”
CWU General Secretary Dave Ward said: “Postal workers want to continue serving the communities they belong to, delivering Christmas gifts and tackling the backlog of the last few weeks.
“But they know their worth and will not humbly accept the casualization of their jobs, the destruction of their livelihoods and the impoverishment of their families.”
This was announced by a spokesman for Royal Mail The Independent: “Royal Mail does not have a policy of prioritizing parcels over letters.
“Every mail item is important to us. We regularly remind colleagues that delivering, collecting and processing letters and parcels is equally important.”
On the strike action, they added: “The CWU is on strike at our busiest time and is holding Christmas as a ransom for our customers, businesses and families across the country.
“We apologize to our customers and urge them to post early for Christmas.
“We pride ourselves on having the best pay and conditions in our industry. In an industry dominated by the ‘gig economy’, insecure work and low wages, our model sets us apart and we intend to keep it.”