WIRRAL postal workers have voted for strike action in an ongoing dispute after their colleagues were sacked for 'taking a tea break'. 

Royal Mail workers have voted to take action against what a Communication Workers Union (CWU) representative called the "petty and vindictive" sacking.

In a ballot on Tuesday, union members at Prenton Delivery Office voted by 95.8% on a 70.6% turnout to take strike action.

The action is over decision of local Royal Mail management to dismiss four workers for reportedly taking a tea break at at the Caernarvon Castle pub, Oxton, in August.

The CWU say that while 11 of these employees were initially suspended for taking the breaks – which they are contractually entitled to – local management eventually ruled that four would not be returning to work earlier this month, including a worker with 44 years of unblemished service.

The dispute led to widespread disruption of postal services since July across Prenton and Oxton with mail not arriving and some people missing hospital appointments as a result.

The decision was met with anger by an already demoralised workforce of around 30 employees – as well as in the wider community, which has been subject to persistent postal delays due to under-recruitment and management cuts.

The union is demanding that management get back around the negotiating table to work out a solution where all workers will be reinstated.

A CWU spokesperson said: "The result is a clear demonstration of the anger workers feel about this petty, vindictive attack on their respected colleagues.

“It is a clear rejection of a culture of bullying and mismanagement in the workplace.

“This situation won’t be solved by management doubling down on poorly-handled decisions, but with a decent compromise that sees these workers reinstated and the workforce treated with the respect they deserve.”

A Royal Mail spokesperson said: “We have received notification of the result of a local ballot at the Prenton Delivery Office.

“This is disappointing, however, we will continue to engage with the CWU and seek to secure a resolution. We will have plans in place to maintain service in the event of any industrial action.”

Royal Mail denied it was an issue of employees stopping for a tea break, saying employees were asked not to move off their route and drive additional mileage to gather during working hours.

Warnings not to do this were given prior to dismissal, it was stressed.

The Royal Mail spokesperson add any industrial action may only impact Prenton if there is industrial action, not other delivery offices across the borough.