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A LACK of recognised toilet facilities for postal delivery workers disproportionately affects women, the Communications Workers Union (CWU) conference heard today.
Delegates at the annual gathering in Bournemouth unanimously passed a motion calling for a compulsory list of toilet facilities on every delivery route.
Vicki Turner, of Leeds No 1 branch, said Royal Mail’s current system was “not fit for purpose” and that “women are going without drinking” to avoid needing use the toilet while out making deliveries.
Sally Wilson-Logue, of Glasgow and district amalgamated branch, said she had been “hospitalised with a kidney infection because I wasn’t actually drinking enough out on delivery.”
Katy Hartland, from Gloucester, said the issue “disproportionately [affected] women,” adding that “managers seem unsympathetic and oblivious of the indignity suffered by our members.”
Members also passed a resolution calling on the union to work with Royal Mail to “explore practical solutions associated with an ageing workforce.”
Andrew Austin, from Warrington, pointed out that “it is a very physical job” which “can put a lot of stresses on your body.”
Tony Pedel, from Yorkshire, said the motion was “about protecting our ageing workforce, because that has to be our priority,” and called on Royal Mail to “enter into meaningful discussions with the CWU.”
There was also unanimous backing for a motion calling for a programme of carbon monoxide testing in BT buildings and regular environmental audits to protect workers’ health.
Yesterday, postal members unanimously passed a resolution requiring the CWU to reach an agreement with Royal Mail on a charter of rights for employees with disabilities, noting that “certain policies from Royal Mail [can] drive discriminatory behaviours.”
A motion calling on the CWU to agree a severe weather policy with Royal Mail following the so-called Beast from the East cold snap received unanimous support as well.
Andrew Hickerman, from Midlands No 7 branch, told conference that a new starter who went out on delivery during the bad weather had suffered a serious injury.
“She slipped and fractured her back, so she’s now got the rest of her life with possible problems with her back,” he said.
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