IF you're expecting a letter tomorrow, you might be waiting a little longer than you thought.

Around 80 delivery postmen and women were on strike from 1pm in Bridgwater on Wednesday November 11.

They walked out of Bridgwater Delivery Office without a ballot, which currently means the strikers have no protection in being dismissed, in protest to Royal Mail's refusal to reinstate worker, Andrew Mootoo. 

Andrew is a postman who suffers from Multiple Sclerosis and is also profoundly deaf.

He has been unable to work due to his condition diagnosis 18 months ago and allegedly, Andrew has been waiting so long for Royal Mail to support his return to work that his pay has been stopped and he has to rely on benefits.

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) claim that Royal Mail then tried to sack him.

This was stopped however as the CWU say they proved it would have been illegal.

It is also claimed that Royal Mail then tested Andrew back at work where he passed and a new test was invented to ensure he would fail, by deliberately using a faulty chair.

CWU lastly claim that Royal Mail said Andrew has no rest room for his meal break because it is in continuous use by managers for disciplinary purposes, and that his MS means he will get stuck in the toilet.

Dave Chapple, CWU rep, said: "Most decent employers would do their best to try and get a disabled worker like Andrew Mootoo off benefits and back to work on a properly adjusted duty.

"Instead, for 18 months, since MS was diagnosed, Royal Mail, nationally and locally, have tried every dirty trick in their book to get Andrew the sack and reduce him to a lifetime of benefits dependency.

"What offensive rubbish from the country's second largest employer.

"All Andrew' s friends at Bridgwater Delivery Office want, is for Royal Mail to sit down and give him a chance to come off the dole and work for his living, as he wants to do.

"The work is there.

"The CWU have even accepted that Andrew could return on a monitored trial basis.

"Every reasonable compromise CWU offer to Royal Mail has been spurned- every patient CWU plea to Royal Mail to give Andrew a chance has been ignored.

"Justice for MS sufferers at work. Justice for Andrew Mootoo."

Andrew drives a car, shops, goes to sport matches, goes shopping, walks down busy high streets and goes to the gym once a week.

A Royal Mail spokesperson said: "Royal Mail is disappointed at the unballoted action which took place at Bridgwater Delivery Office, Friarn Street Bridgwater, which delivers to the TA5,TA6 and TA7 postcode areas.

"We apologise to customers for the disruption to their mail services and we are doing all we can to minimise this disruption.

"Royal Mail is fully committed to the process of trying to resolve concerns of postal workers based in Bridgwater by following the national jointly agreed framework with the Communication Workers Union (CWU)."

Picture credit: with kind thanks to Jana Branecka for the photograph of the postal workers outside on the street.