Employment law specialist solicitors serving Dundee and Scotland
Postal workers in Fife have taken industrial action for the second time over what they deem to be the unfair dismissal of a colleague after he was sacked over allegations of theft.
David Mitchell, who worked as a postman for 27 years before he was dismissed was accused of stealing mail resulting in his dismissal for gross misconduct.
However, he has since taken Royal Mail to an employment tribunal winning £57,000 in compensation due to loss of earnings. The employment tribunal Judge Ian McFatridge also ordered the postal service to reinstate Mr Mitchell, twice, as he said there were no reasonable grounds for the belief he had stolen mail, but they have failed to do so.
As a result of this failure to reinstate Mr Mitchell, colleagues went on a 24 hour strike for the second time with some union representatives warning that the action could soon affect all of Scotland.
Speaking of the incident, local MP Stephen Gethins. Speaking on the incident Mr Gethins said: "This is question of fairness. There's now been two court rulings in Mr Mitchell's favour and Royal Mail need to respect that."
Mr Mitchell is also being backed the Communications Workers Union (CWU) which says Royal Mail failed to properly investigate the theft allegations. Items of mail were reported missing from his round but his postal vehicle, his own car, his home and clothing were searched by investigators with no trace of the items found. Despite the lack of evidence, he was still dismissed for theft leading to an employment tribunal.
CWU assistant secretary Ray Ellis said: "It was an extremely serious allegation, accusing him of theft with no evidence whatsoever.
"As well as the court, the Scottish prosecution service also ruled that there was insufficient evidence to back up the charge."
A spokeswoman for Royal Mail said: "Royal Mail is disappointed that the Communications Workers Union has again taken strike action at Cupar Delivery Office today.
"We are out delivering mail to nearly all our customer in Cupar today and the enquiry office remains open for customers to pick up mail.
"Royal Mail continues to work with our trade union and people locally to resolve this issue and we apologise to our customers for any inconvenience caused."
The industrial action taken by postal workers is to show solidarity with their colleague as although an employment tribunal deemed that he was unfairly dismissed and should be reinstated in his position, as of yet, the Royal Mail have failed to do so,
When claiming that you were dismissed unfairly, it is possible to not only claim compensation for your loss of income or to recuperate legal costs, it is also possible to be reinstated in your position. While many people do not wish to be reinstated and would rather simply obtain compensation, for others regaining their job is the number one incentive.
If you have been unfairly dismissed or if you have suffered any discrimination or harassment in your place of work, you could be entitled to take legal action and obtain compensation. Contact our team of experts today for legal advice or representation using our online contact form.