AROUND 100 postmen and women walked out on unofficial strike from the Bridgwater Royal Mail Delivery Office in Friarn Street earlier today (Thursday, June 4).

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) which represents the employees says members believe the Royal Mail is using the Covid-19 crisis as a 'smokescreen to attack the strong trade union' based at the Bridgwater office.

Tensions came to a head this week and at 12.30pm the union members, which make up 99.7 per cent of the workforce at the delivery office, voted to go on strike for the rest of the day.

The CWU members' grievances are with a manager who has been returned to the Bridgwater Delivery Office having previously been in charge.

In a statement today the union say the manager's 'aggressive and anti-union behaviour' make them 'the worst possible choice' for the role.

The CWU say staff have been threatened with disciplinary action, that union activists have been 'followed around the building to prevent them talking to other members', and that there has been tension surrounding the removal of bicycles used by the posties.

A CWU spokesman said: "The members have taken this action as a last resort.

"Royal Mail must now re-consider their whole management strategy at Bridgwater and appoint managers who are prepared to work with the union."

The Royal Mail responded saying it was working with the union to find a resolution.

A Royal Mail spokesperson said: “Royal Mail is disappointed that unballoted industrial action has taken place at Bridgwater.

"We sincerely apologise to customers in the area for any disruption to their mail services.

"We are working through the issues raised and continue to engage with the CWU to find a resolution”.