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The Telegraph
The Telegraph
12 Aug 2023

Six postal workers have been fired from their jobs in a row over tea breaks, a union said.

They were among 11 workers suspended from Prenton Delivery Office in Wirral, Merseyside, in July for drinking tea and coffee at pubs while on their breaks.

Three were later reinstated, one was handed a penalty and the outcome for the remaining individual is unknown, the Communications Workers Union told Birkenhead News.

Royal Mail said its dismissals were carried out in accordance with its standard rules.

The sackings reportedly followed a series of complaints from locals who said delays to their post since July had led to them missing medical appointment reminders and wedding invitations.

But Mick Whitley, the MP for Birkenhead, and Oxton councillor Stuart Kelly have called for the suspended staff to be reinstated.

Cllr Kelly said: “Whatever their internal management problems, people in Oxton and Prenton want a proper post service and it is essential that Royal Mail focus on providing that.”

A Royal Mail spokesperson said: “As a responsible employer we always investigate any incidents where the behaviour of our employees is alleged to have fallen below the standards expected.

“Any decision to dismiss an employee is only done so in line with the clear rules and regulations that govern employment law for all UK businesses and our internal standards.”

A number of postal workers who were not involved in the original suspension have resigned from their posts over the situation, according to Birkenhead News.

Oxton resident Joe Thomas said there had been “chaos” at the delivery office since the sackings and defended the workers for taking breaks.

“They work really hard and were helpful but it was clear that it had been ongoing,” Mr Thomas told Birkenhead news.

He described the suspension as an “overblown reaction”, adding: “It’s such a solitary job being a postie, being out all day, so why not meet up with your colleagues?”

Another Birkenhead resident Kevin Donovan, 77, told the local news outlet: “We know and trust our delivery staff. They work hard in all weathers and go above and beyond their duties.”