MANAGERS have had to go out and deliver the post after workers at the Royal Mail office in Basingstoke took action over “unrealistic workloads”.

About 200 staff from the delivery office in Priestley Road met with a representative from the Communication Workers Union (CWU) last Monday, and agreed to work to rule by coming in on time, taking their breaks and finishing on time.

As a result, some undelivered post has been brought back to the sorting office, and managers have had to go out to make sure that these items reach their destination.

Andrew Moorey, branch secretary for the South East CWU, said: “The managers are trying to pressurise our members into doing more work than they can achieve, and that’s adding to the stress, and they are feeling intimidated and afraid – that’s why we take up these issues.”

Mr Moorey said that the union negotiated a national agreement with Royal Mail which states that staff should be paid for overtime.

He added that he had received several emails about problems in Basingstoke, and that the union had taken the matter to the directors of Royal Mail.

Mr Moorey said: “There’s a lot of frustration. What is right is that our members come in on time and take their breaks and finish on time. If management want them to do extra, they should pay for it.”

Mr Moorey believes that managers at the Basingstoke office were not releasing hours for overtime.

He added: “Management have put pressure on because they are taking the hours out of the system which should be put in to do the job properly. Our job is to make sure the workload is manageable.”

A postman who works at the Basingstoke delivery office contacted The Gazette about the issues, and said that staff had been working extra hours unpaid “to get the job done”.

The member of staff, who did not want to be named, said: “They do this because they don’t want to appear that they can’t do their job in front of bullying bonus-driven managers.

“Last Monday, things all came to a head after staff were told that they were being given yet more work in the form of extra deliveries on Mondays, Tuesdays and Saturdays.”

But he said that after staff agreed to work-to-rule, “a lot of mail wasn’t delivered and was brought back to the office”.

He added: “Whilst Royal Mail management continue to behave the way that they do, this situation is going to continue for a long time.”

Val Bodden, a spokeswoman for Royal Mail, said: “Royal Mail can confirm that we are dealing with staffing issues at Basingstoke delivery office, resulting in managers going out on some deliveries to ensure that customers receive their mail.

“Royal Mail is fully committed to the process of trying to resolve the concerns of postal workers based in Basingstoke, by continuing to follow the national jointly-agreed framework with the CWU.”