Hi all, find below the Mount Pleasant bulletin of the 8th of April.
I've also attached the full bulletin, with this week's editorial... Please check it out!
Comments are welcome, as usual.
MANY REASONS TO WALK OUT
We see, finally, that there's a statement by the CWU which
covers some of the problems we've been having with RM's
Covid-19 negligence. They even went to the Guardian
newspaper (2 April) so it was made public! But what's even
more important is that union leaders made it clear that we
should stay away from work if equipment like masks, hand
sanitiser and gloves weren't provided - and in adequate
quantities. Or if we were not able to work 2 metres apart...
Or if we were in any way concerned that we were being put
at risk and were thus putting others at risk!
RM'S RECKLESSNESS CONTINUES
Of course that didn't solve the problem did it? RM answered
that it gave us soap and latex gloves "if we wanted them"
(nothing about masks, sanitizer and proper wipes), claiming
that social distancing was done "wherever possible" and junk
("which people want"!!) is delivered with the rest... In other
words they refuse to recognise any fault at all! Even in the
middle of this life and death crisis!
IT WLL BE UP TO ALL OF US...
Well, in reply, union officials have said that workplaces
without PPE or proper social distancing measures “should
be closed until this is rectified”. Too right. And although they
didn't specify who should close them, walkouts of mates in a
number of DOs last week, are demonstrating the (only) way
we'll get anything to change!
...ALL FOR ONE, ONE FOR ALL!
So, last Thursday, mates in the Chatham DO in Kent walked
out over the lack of hand sanitizer, and the difficulty
(impossibility?) of social distancing in the office. And
workers in Alloa and Fife went out earlier in the week, over
lack of protection and the continuing deliveries of junk mail.
But why should they be left on their own to protest? Surely
as soon as we hear of a walk-out we should be out too?
NO, NOT USO AS USUAL
What a gracious concession! Ofcom has pronounced, that in
view of the “emergency service” carried out by RM (errrr... by
us...), it won't "penalise" the company if it doesn't keep up
with the 6-day Universal Service Obligation. But it's not RM
bosses who've got a problem with maintaining a 6-day
profits-as-usual service during this corona crisis. It's us!
Since we're still so busy on Late shift, the so-called
protective measures are a bit of a joke. We keep bumping
into each other, despite the individual sorting cells on
packets, every other letter frame not used, canteen chairs
rearranged, etc. Maybe these distancing measures even
make bumping each other more likely! But we also need to
be a hell of a lot fewer workers in here, if we are to really
PS: By the way, they say that someone with the virus who
sneezes or coughs can spread it up to 8m! So 2 metres
distancing is not far enough.
THE BEST WAY TO KEEP CLEAN
To this day we've not seen hand sanitisers in HMP! As for
their antiseptic wipes, they keep running out so that by the
end of the shift, there aren't any left to wipe our work areas
and hands clean. And RM tells us WE should follow “gold
standards” when it comes to hygiene? When they don't
provide the basics? The only way we can keep “gold
standard” in cleanliness is by not coming to work!
HOT WATER, NOT HOT AIR, PLEASE
As for us on deliveries, what are we supposed to do?
Without a box of gloves at the start of the walk, and plenty of
hand-sanitiser and wipes we are not going to be safe.
There's nowhere to wash our hands; cafes and restaurants
are closed... Same for van-drivers. Can RM please fit sinks
with running hot water and soap in each van?
TELL THEM WHERE TO JUMP
The cheek goes on: we're told we won't get paid if we don't
supply "valid proof" that we're sick or self-isolating at home!!
When it's RM's bloody-mindedness, to us keep working as
usual, that's turned every workplace into a virus-breeding
ground! They haven't even provided masks or decent
gloves! On safety grounds alone, we'd be within our legal
rights to walk out with or without the union's backing. But it
helps to have it. And "walk" is what we must do.
It's mad and plain wrong that we're still delivering “nonessential”
D2D! RM said it will only be delivered to people
who are "receiving addressed mail at the same time", “where
practically possible”! Well let's say it loud and clear: it's not
"practically" possible, and certainly not when there is a
pandemic about. And by the way, we'll be the ones to
decide what’s essential.
STICK TO THE LOCK DOWN
BTW, the letter from the government to all 32m households
was due to be delivered by Thursday this week. But some
offices hadn’t received it by this Monday. And with such a
backlog through the system, and us trying to clear the work,
who knows when it will be delivered? (Apparently RM got
£5.7m for the job!) Maybe it's "essential" D2D this time, to
drum home the seriousness of the pandemic. But with a
half-hearted lockdown and the PM himself ill with Covid-19,
we're not sure how seriously people will take his message.
NOT GOOD ENOUGH
"One driver, one van" is probably sensible during the
pandemic, but we're giving RM notice that it won't be
afterwards. They got away with taking out the 2nd person in
the cab some time back, and it's our intention to get him/her
CLEAN THE VANS!
And by the way, managers have said that they'd “quarantine”
vans for 48 hours if a driver goes off sick with the virus. But
what about the proper cleaning of vans (and not with a
simple wipe!) between shifts and every time a new driver
gets in? The virus can infect us without us showing any
symptoms - we all know this by now. And efficient cleaning
methods need implementing - like steaming.
WE'D BETTER WATCH OUT!
We've heard that in some offices, managers have
encouraged workers to use their own vehicles for work. So
are they covering insurance, maintenance, petrol, etc., and
guaranteeing that after the crisis is over, this will be
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