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Posties threatened with sack over junk and bills

Posties threatened with sack for not delivering junk mail and bills

NZ Post is threatening to dismiss striking posties for not delivering junk mail and bills, says the Postal Workers Association.

PWA organizer Mike Treen said the company threats are completely illegal under industrial law.

A memo from the company to Postal Delivery Leaders dated July 10 claims that the Posties’ action of “putting significant amounts of undelivered mail in street receivers… constitutes serious misconduct under the CEA”. The Postie union says that this claim is legally invalid as section 83 of the Employment Relations Act defines strike action as a collective action which breaks the employment agreement.

“If NZ Post’s reasoning was valid then Posties would never be able to take action since any action could be defined as a breach of their employment agreement because it interfered with delivery of the mail,” said Mr Treen.

“This threat follows previous illegal action by the company such as suspending employees who have resumed normal work because they ‘might’ take action.

“It is these provocative actions that have led to the effective closure of some branches from Kaitaia to Wellington over the past week”.

Posties represented by the Postal Workers Federation began taking action on Friday. They were protesting what they viewed as unwarranted delay by the company in resuming negotiations. They were also concerned at what they say is an implied threat to negotiate individually with Posties rather than collectively through the PWF in a company memo distributed earlier that week in delivery branches.

Mike Treen said they decided to take an action that would cause the least inconvenience to their residential customers by restricting the delivery of junk mail and bills “which most people didn’t want anyway”. The company responded by selectively suspending some Posties and others walked off the job in solidarity. This led to complete shutdowns over the past week in a number of delivery branches.

“Threats and bullying won’t get Posties back to normal duties. This can only be done by serious negotiation around the concerns Posties have which have been ignored for years,” said Mr Treen.

ENDS

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