NEWS FROM BRIDGWATER: Disabled postman is going back to work!
POSTIES at Bridgwater’s Royal Mail delivery office have been celebrating victory after the reinstatement of deaf postman Andrew Mootoo.
After a two-year David and Goliath style battle with the country’s second largest employer – culminating with a 24-hour unofficial walkout on November 11 last year, 113 Communication Workers' Union members at Bridgwater Royal Mail Delivery Office have secured the reinstatement of Mr Mootoo who also has MS.
Mr Mootoo starts back to work on a part-time desk-based computer job, scanning in undelivered packets, on Monday (February 15, 2016).
It comes after Royal Mail bosses had kept Mr Mootoo on sick leave for so long after he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis this his pay was stopped.
But members of the CWU have worked tirelessly to get bosses to negotiate seriously about getting Andrew back to work.
And now that hard work seems to have paid off.
Yesterday (Thursday, February 11, 2016), the day after his reinstatement was confirmed, a gate meeting was held, with Mr Mootoo and his wife present, to celebrate a remarkable victory for the CWU..
After the gate meeting, the British Sign Language/BSL interpreter for Mr Mootoo, said she had never experienced anything like it, the speeches had given her goose bumps!
PHOTO – TOP: Victory for the CWU and Andrew Mootoo. Photo courtesy of Andrew Mootoo.
PHOTO – RIGHT: Showing support for Andrew Mootoo. Photo courtesy of Billy Morgan.
Dave Chapple, with Darren Granter one of two Bridgwater CWU Reps still under threat of dismissal for their part in the November illegal walkout, said: “Monday will finalise a victory that should be celebrated, not just as part of the TUC Heart Unions week, not just as the latest in an amazing series of strike victories at the Bridgwater Delivery Office, not just as a truly-even for Bridgwater-remarkable act of working-class solidarity, but, perhaps most of all, as a victory for disabled workers everywhere.
“How many other workplaces would have held a near-unanimous walkout to support someone who hadn't been at work for nearly two years?”
Mr Mootoo said: “After all this time I didn't expect, suddenly, to find Royal Mail positive about my return to work.
“I want to say a big thank you to all Bridgwater CWU members who went on strike for me: that was crucial. I cannot believe I have been waiting for 2 years and 1 month to return to work.
“I call it "The Longest Road to CWU Victory": I am so proud of our militant history here at Bridgwater!”