Upset as Royal Mail sends home Christmas staff from its Portsmouth centre

WORKERS at Royal Mail have expressed their upset at how the firm has been treating casual staff taken on to cope with the Christmas post.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 12th December 2016, 5:55 am
Updated Wednesday, 14th December 2016, 1:50 pm

Twenty casual staff were employed by Royal Mail to work at the Slindon Street sorting office in Portsmouth, but they say they were left disappointed after being sent home on their first day after just one hour’s work.

They were part of the 470 temporary workers brought in by Royal Mail in the SO, PO and SP postcodes to help sort the Christmas post as well as the increasing amount of online Christmas shopping.

One worker, who did not want to be named, said: ‘They have been through interviews promising temporary work over Christmas. They all turned up on Monday and had an induction for an hour before they were told to go home.

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‘Then they came back in on Tuesday and were told to go away again and that they were not needed at all.

‘There was work there that they could do, but this just shows Royal Mail does not care about its people whatsoever.’

They added: ‘These people were relying on that work for Christmas and have possibly gone home to their families and said they had work – but now they haven’t and it’s all because Royal Mail needs to bring work into Southampton.

‘It’s just not a very nice thing to do.’

They said there has been bad feeling within the workforce after the majority of the mail processing operation relocated from Slindon Street to Southampton and the collection centres in Slindon Street and in Northern Road, Cosham, were closed and moved to one building at Voyager Park, in Copnor.

However, a A Royal Mail spokesperson said: ‘Like any business, we must align our resource to our workload during the busy Christmas period.

‘We do everything we can to ensure that the shift work offered to our seasonal staff is fulfilled.

‘In this case, some temporary workers were offered alternative work immediately. A small number have had their start date deferred until today.’

They said that the workers were part of the 14,900 people hired across its operations in England to help Royal Mail’s 120,000 permanent postmen and women.

During the recruitment phase, Royal Mail’s chief operations officer, Sue Whalley, said: ‘Christmas is our busiest time of year. We plan all year round to help ensure we deliver the best possible service for consumers and businesses in the UK at Christmas.

‘We make a substantial commitment in additional resources including the recruitment of thousands of temporary workers to handle the festive mailbag and the growing market of online Christmas shopping.’