1 June 2009

London postal workers refusing to deliver BNP leaflets

The British National Party is fuming after hundreds of postal workers across South London refused to deliver election leaflets.

The Royal Mail is legally obliged to deliver the leaflets but Communication Workers Union members are exercising a "conscience clause" in their contract not to carry out the work. Workers say they disagree with the controversial far-right parties policies which include voluntarily resettling immigrants. That same union today announced intentions to strike over pay.

Managers agreed to the clause and have been forced to draft in expensive agency workers to offices in Brixton, Stockwell and South Lambeth to clear the backlog.

Pollsters are predicting a "electoral breakthrough" for the party in European and local elections on Thursday with a perfect storm of voter apathy in the wake of the expenses scandal and a low turnout.

"Members won't touch them"

CWU official Martin Walsh told the South London Press: "The leaflets came in last Tuesday but our members wouldn’t touch them. We have a national agreement that states that staff do not have to deliver them but bosses still put our members under pressure. In the end, agency staff were brought in to deliver them."

Staff are "corrupting electotral process"

A BNP spokesman said postal staff are corrupting "the election process not to deliver the leaflets". Adding: "If they don’t want to deliver them they should not turn up to work, not get paid and give the money to someone else who is willing to do the job."

Exceptional circumstances

A Royal Mail spokesman would not comment on agency staff having to deliver the pamphlets, but added: He said: "Royal Mail has legal obligations under the Representation of People Act to deliver election material, so long as the material is legal, and so we deliver all legitimate literature from all parties. In exceptional circumstances – where any individual has a genuine concern – we encourage them to discuss it with their manager and, if necessary, we make alternative arrangements.

We’re not able to comment on individual offices, however can confirm that all election material due to be delivered by the Royal Mail is being dealt with in accordance with the terms of the service paid for by customers."

London Daily News

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