Postal workers are to vote again on strike action in support of a sacked Fife postman, following a challenge to their ballot by Royal Mail.
Union members elected to take industrial action in anger at the delivery firm’s refusal to reinstate David Mitchell, who won his employment tribunal for unfair dismissal.
However, Royal Mail challenged the ballot process – which had a 52.6% majority – and the Communication Workers Union decided to withdraw the mandate and start again.
More than 2,500 union members were balloted for strike action in the Fife, Edinburgh, Galashiels and Falkirk postcodes areas against what Mr Logan previously described as one of the biggest injustices ever involving Royal Mail and its membership.
Branch secretary Kenny Logan accused Royal Mail of double standards and said representatives would visit workforces to spell out the case for strike action.
He said: “This is not just about Dave Mitchell.
“Royal Mail has failed to carry out a proper investigation.
“It said it had lost trust in Dave Mitchell so couldn’t reinstate him, but how can we have trust in Royal Mail managers carrying out the proper process when it comes to the employment code?
“It is hypocritical that on one hand Royal Mail refused to abide by a legally binding tribunal decision and then challenged our internal ballot process.”
Mr Mitchell, of Chance Inn, worked for Royal Mail for 27 years but was accused of stealing mail and sacked.
An employment tribunal judge found Royal Mail had insufficient grounds to sustain its belief in his guilt and the firm was ordered to return him to his post at Cupar delivery office.
It refused to do so and although the decision was upheld at a reconsideration hearing, it was instead ordered to pay compensation.
Strikes have already been held by Mr Mitchell’s former colleagues in Cupar.
Mr Logan said fighting Royal Mail’s challenge through the courts could have resulted in an injunction, barring a further ballot.
He said: “We have decided on a plan of action whereby we will again write to all our members and hold a series of gate meetings before members start their shifts, regardless of the time.
“I firmly believe we will get a far larger majority this time.
“There’s no question that the Royal Mail propaganda machine worked and convinced some of our members to vote no.”
Mr Mitchell voiced his disappointment at Royal Mail’s challenge but said he had every faith in the CWU.
He also accused Royal Mail of employing tactics.
He said a previous statement by the firm that it had sufficient evidence to dismiss him was untrue and claimed it had distorted information about the number of test mail items that had gone missing during its investigation.
Royal Mail did not respond last night.