London, Dec 12 (ANI): The postal union says its workers are being 'bullied' into walking at unsustainable speeds to finish their rounds faster and cut costs for the Royal Mail.
The Communication Workers Union (CWU) accused bosses at Royal Mail of pressuring employees to walk at a hasty 4mph in order to meet "unrealistic" targets.
The union said workers are being pressed to do delivery rounds that are too long to complete within normal hours.
The dispute centres around a software system called Pegasus, which is now used by many countries, including the UK, to plan delivery walks.
The idea is that by using the system, deliveries will be more efficient, but the union said it had been introduced without agreement and claimed that a number of problems have arisen in various parts of the country.
It argued that while Royal Mail uses an average walk speed of 4mph to calculate its routes, postal workers in other countries are expected to walk much more slowly.
The union said that the 4mph target was "unsustainable over the whole delivery, which leads to unrealistic delivery rounds".
"Royal Mail has altered the system to meet budgetary savings, not to consider the actual physical realities of delivery rounds," the Telegraph quoted a union official, as saying.
"Managers in problem areas are putting delivery workers under undue pressure to complete unrealistic rounds.
"In some offices this is leading to bullying and harassment by managers trying to force delivery workers to take on larger rounds, work beyond their finish time and refusing to pay overtime.
"In extreme circumstances this is leading to suspension and even sacking. In some areas jobs are being lost or changed to part-time as the system finds efficiency savings. In other areas overtime is taken away," the official added.
However, Royal Mail has denied that anyone has been bullied or harassed under the scheme.
A spokesman said: "Royal Mail carefully plans every postman and postwoman's walk so that no-one is asked to cover a greater distance or deliver more mail than they are capable of doing.
"The systems we use to help us plan the most effective delivery walks have been successfully used nationwide in many hundreds of delivery offices since 1996," he added. (ANI)