The postal workers’ union claims delivery staff are under pressure to complete unrealistic delivery routes due to misuse of a computer programme that maps out their walks.
The Communication Workers Union (CWU) says Royal Mail is using the Pegasus software to map unrealistic routes, which require workers to walk at up to four miles per hour including time for deliveries.
It says Royal Mail reneged on an agreement to jointly review all aspects of Pegasus and is pushing ahead with changes. The CWU claims some postmen and women have delivery rounds that are too long to complete within normal hours, causing extra pressure.
Bob Gibson, CWU national official, said: “Royal Mail is using this system to meet financial savings without considering the physical realities of delivery rounds. This is putting pressure on delivery workers and leading to bullying and harassment.
“We’re receiving high volumes of complaints and seeing a deterioration in both industrial relations and service standards. We need Royal Mail to see sense and review this system with the CWU.”
However, Royal Mail vehemently denies this, stating it requires delivery walkers to walk at around 2 miles an hour, rather than the four miles an hour the union claims.
A Royal Mail spokesman said it took long driveways and delivery times into account when measuring routes.
He 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 and it’s complete nonsense and completely untrue to suggest otherwise.
“The speed at which we ask our postmen and women to walk is around two miles per hour and the systems we use to help us plan the most effective delivery walks are used in many other countries and have been successfully used nationwide in the UK since 1996.”