Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Postal workers in 'pay threat' after red snow warning

Man digs out car from snow Image copyright EPA
Image caption Heavy snow fell across large parts of Scotland

Postal workers are being asked to vote for industrial action amid claims they have been "penalised" by the recent red weather warning.

Royal Mail staff in east central Scotland were told their pay would be docked or they could use annual leave if they failed to get to work during the heavy snow.

The public were advised not to travel during the worst of the weather.

Royal Mail said it had a "clear adverse weather policy".

But a spokeswoman added that they look at the circumstances where the weather has been extreme.

The Met Office issued a red weather warning for snow - the first of its kind in Scotland - on 28 February.

Motorists were warned to keep off the roads, while buses and train services were cancelled.

When the red warning was downgraded to amber, people were again warned to travel only if it was absolutely necessary.

Gary Clark, of the Communications Workers Union, said postal workers were paying for heeding official travel advice.

"Our members who could not attend work were asked to take a day's annual leave, pay back time or lose money," he said.

"This is when the government, police, everybody is telling us only travel for extreme emergencies."

Image caption Gary Clark, of the Communications Workers Union, says workers were heeding official travel advice
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Around 1,000 vehicles were stranded overnight on the M80 during the worst of the wintry weather

He added: "There was no transport, there was no way for our members to get to work on a large amount of occasions.

"But our members are now being penalised basically for the first ever red warning in Scotland, where there was no travel advised."

In the wake of the adverse weather, Scotland's transport minister Humza Yousaf raised concerns about employers considering docking of the wages of those unable to get to work.

He said it was not acceptable and the Scottish government would consider action against the employers.

A spokeswoman for Royal Mail said it has had no official notice of any ballot for strike action.

She added: "Royal Mail has a clear adverse weather policy for employees who are unable to get into work.

"Employees should, in the first instance, speak to their line manager about any issues. All employees are able to use annual leave or make up the time lost.

"Employees can also, if they prefer, take unpaid time off if they are unable to attend work.

"If a site has been closed by the business or, because of disruption there is no work to be processed or delivered, employees would receive their normal pay."

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