Union wins fight against Royal Mail over closure of Holbeck delivery office

Union workers have won a campaign to keep Holbeck delivery office open.
Union workers have won a campaign to keep Holbeck delivery office open.
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A campaign against closure of the Holbeck delivery office led by postal workers has been successful.

Royal Mail announced in September 2017 that they would be closing the Holbeck site and merging operations with Leeds City delivery office.

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This week Royal Mail announced to workers in both sites that plans for the merger have been suspended.

Since the announcement of the merger, the Communications Workers Union (CWU) have been in talks with Royal Mail which broke down in September 2018.

Chris Allen, 52, the union rep for Holbeck has been heavily involved with in the discussions.

He told the YEP: "When we looked at the proposal and considered everything there were lots of health and safety issues that weren't being addressed such as the size of the Leeds Citty building.

"There were also issues around Leeds 11 customers getting to city to collect parcels which lead us to believe that city wasn't the right option"

Mr Allen has been a postal worked at Holbeck since he started working for Royal Mail 30 years ago.

He helped to lead protests by the community and the CWU calling for the plans to be reconsidered.

He explained: "There are national agreements on closures and mergers of delivery office and we felt that Royal Mail weren't adhering to them.

"We think that they know we aren't going to budge on what has been agreed nationally which is why they've backtracked."

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Further to the health and safety issues, the move would have meant some workers would pay up to £50 a week to park near the city site.

Mr Allen said: "It's a massive victory and a proud moment for the union locally, the Holbeck delivery staff, me personally and the Leeds 11 community."

Leeds Central MP Hilary Benn tweeted his congratulations to the campaign.

He said: "Wonderful news and a tribute to a strong and determined local CWU campaign."

A Royal Mail spokesperson said: “The scheme to move Holbeck Delivery office has been paused and our employees and trade unions will be consulted in any future plans.

"Our people have been informed of this.”