Merseyside Amalgamated Branch
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Distribution Section


Distribution Annual Report 2010

   

Dear colleagues,

 

This year has been the most difficult I have had to deal with in all my years as a union official. Dealing with the closure of copperas hill and the effect that has had on all of member's lives has totally taken over my working life. The effect this has had on both the platform and the drivers has been immense with all the changes to their working lives along with the extra travel to and from work.

 

The platform / bay members have had a difficult time trying to settle in to there new duties patterns. On the day shift we have five bay staff working on the driving section this has left a lot of gaps on the section. We have still not completed the move with a number of duties still to be filled on the bay and driving sections we hope to have these advertised to distribution members as soon as possible The unit reps have also had problems with the annual leave the platform staff having been mixed in with processing. The bay staff always had there own leave rotation before the move so why is it different now. We now plan to progress this matter through the framework with Lee Campbell now having registered stage one disagreement.  Since we have arrived on site management have also insisted that our bay section has become part of processing can I reassure our bay members that neither the bay committee or myself has ever given agreement to this. I have raised this matter with both Ian Taylor (Div Rep) and Phil Browne (national officer) to see if there is an agreement either locally or nationally and I have been assured there is no agreement to the break-up of the distribution function. Ian Taylor is in the process of setting up a meeting with the mail centre manager to try and sort this matter out.

 

The driving section has also had to face up to the move to Warrington and the difficulties that has brought, I myself think that the whole move was ill' timed. To move us in to a new building at the busiest time of the year and in the worst driving conditions of the year was crazy. All the drivers had to learn new routes find new firms in the dark and rain the and snow the first six weeks were a total shambles, but Royal Mail did provide us with two sat nav's to help the one hundred and forty drivers that were lost. I have never in all my thirty years as a driver seen so many drivers so stressed out that some had to go off sick. The lead rep's did advise Royal Mail that to move in just before Christmas was madness but to no avail they new best and continued with the move and the rest is history.

We still have a number of outstanding driving issues that myself and the rep's are trying to sort out. The two hundred pound that we are due under the business transformation agreement should have been paid on the successful deployment of the 2010 revision in the unit. In my estimation we are now well over due this payment this being the case I have asked Ian Taylor to facilitate a meeting with the mail centre manager, if the mail centre is not forthcoming with the payment I feel we have no option other than to progress this matter further not ruling out requesting an industrial action ballot and withdrawing from any revision activity for this year. One thing we have made progress on is the annual leave allocation. The day shift has now picked and we are waiting for the nightshift to finish their pick as soon as this done and agreed we will have it up on the notice board. Overall the move to Warrington has not been an easy one but hopefully we can now settle down and get back to some normality. One other thing I would like to mention is the lack of training since we arrived at Warrington this has led to a number of discipline issues none of which has been our member's fault. I feel we have been badly let down by Royal mail and after a number of promises over induction training none of the drivers have still been trained. If there was a fire I still do not no the safest way out or were my muster point is.

 

In my report I have only touched on the problems we have faced in this move to Warrington and there are many more that myself and the rep's are working though to try and make your working day better. Remember one thing your rep's are here to help you, so your understanding and help in solving these problems is much appreciated.

 

The closure program has seen a lot of our friends leave through VR and they will be sadly missed by us all I would like to wish them all the best in the future.

 

One personal friend and union colleague that had to leave the business through ill health in 2010 was Kevin Kennedy. Kevin is well known to all Merseyside amal members and all sections having worked in the mail centre in processing and distribution and also in deliveries. Kevin has worked for Royal mail for over thirty years most of that time he has been involved with the CWU in some form or another. In the last 15 years I have worked very closely with Kevin on the distribution committee and I must say he is one of the best if not the best representative I have ever had the pleasure to work with. Always there to back you up he loved the challenge of getting just that bit more for his members when in negotiations with management. I am glad to say that Kevin's health problems are improving and having talked to him recently he is feeling much better. I am sure I speak for us all when I thank Kevin for all his help and friendship over the years and wish him and all his family all the very best for the future.

 

In closing I would like to thank all the distribution rep's for all there help and support in what was one of the most difficult years we have had for many years.

 

Ernie Jackson

Area Distribution Rep


  CWU Merseyside Amalgamated Branch
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Fax: 0151 709 8269
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