Cupar posties are to strike on one of the busiest days of the year in anger at Royal Mail’s refusal to reinstate a sacked colleague.
Staff at the town’s delivery office are furious that postman David Mitchell has not been given his job back despite winning his unfair dismissal tribunal.
Christmas deliveries in the area will be disrupted as they walk out on Saturday.
It is understood the one-day protest could be the first of a number of walk-outs, after a ballot by the Communications Workers’ Union found 97% of members in favour of the industrial action.
Royal Mail has challenged Judge Ian McFatridge’s ruling that it must return Mr Mitchell, 57, who was accused of stealing mail, to his job.
Mr Mitchell, of Chance Inn, declined to comment on the industrial action yesterday but was understood to be delighted at the backing from colleagues.
CWU branch secretary Kenny Logan said: “Members in Cupar have decided that from 8.30am on Saturday they will walk out of the building, invoking their right to a one-day strike.
“People in Cupar have been made aware of the situation and the support there seems to be for David Mitchell is second to none.
“With no proof, no evidence to say that Mr Mitchell did or did not steal those items Royal Mail has said it is not going to reinstate him.”
Mr Mitchell has continually insisted he simply wants to return to his job of 27 years and has already rejected a financial settlement but it is understood he may accept a higher offer.
Mr Logan said: “We hope that some sort of resolution, even at the 11th hour, will avert any industrial action and that members can continue to deliver the mail on Saturday.”
A Royal Mail spokesperson said: “Royal Mail is disappointed at the ballot result.
“We have robust contingency plans in place and will be continuing to deliver to all our customers in Cupar should any unnecessary strike action take place at our busiest time of year.
“Royal Mail continues to work with our trade union locally.”
Mr Mitchell was fired a year ago after being accused of stealing mail containing money and gift cards from his round in Ceres, Craigrothie and Chance Inn.
Following his tribunal, Mr McFatridge concluded in September there was insufficient evidence of his guilt.
During a reconsideration hearing last month, Royal Mail lawyers said Mr Mitchell would never deliver mail in Cupar again and even a court order would not reverse the decision.
A verdict is expected soon.
Picture by David Wardle