Strike Laws ignored by workers:

Royal Mail staff ignore strike laws to show solidarity with disabled colleague

 Royal Mail staff ignored strike laws yesterday to protest in support of a fellow disabled worker.

Around 80 staff in Bridgewater staged the strike over the treatment of a fellow worker, who they allege has been prevented from working by the company.

Dave Chapple, who is the local representative of the Communication Workers Union (CWU), said the company has increasingly made it difficult for his colleague Andrew Mootoo, who has multiple sclerosis, to return to work.

He told Politics.co.uk: ‘When Andrew was first diagnosed 18 months ago, they tried to pay him off but had to back down after we [the CWU] pointed out it was illegal.

‘Since then they’ve come up with every excuse you can think of to stall his return to work.

An embroidered logo sits on the shirt pocket of a Royal Mail Group Ltd. postman as he delivers mail in Hornchurch, U.K., on Wednesday, July 10, 2013. The U.K. government will sell a majority stake in Royal Mail Group Ltd., the 360-year-old state postal service, through an initial public offering before the end of March, Business Secretary Vince Cable said. Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg via Getty Images

‘What made this remarkable is that so many people walked out in solidarity with somebody they haven’t even seen for 18 months. I’ve also received around 200 emails of support from fellow trade unionists and disabled people.’

Royal Mail have reportedly told the strikers they will sit down with Andrew to find a solution.

Chapple added that this situation highlights the difficulties disabled people face in the workplace.

The strike comes after the government’s trade union bill had its third reading in the House of Commons.

A Royal Mail spokesperson apologised to customers for the disruption.

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