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Posties 'put mail back in box'.

Byline: PETE SWINGLER

POSTMEN have been accused of causing mail delays in the Midlands by putting undelivered letters BACK in postboxes at the end of their rounds.

The accusation was made by an ex-postie who unsuccessfully claimed compensation for unfair dismissal at an employment tribunal hearing.

Colin Armes, 46, of Kinver, Staffordshire, accused Royal Mail bosses at Stourbridge sorting office of 'turning a blind eye' to the re-posting.

'It is well-known at Stourbridge that some postmen put undelivered letters back in postboxes at the end of their rounds for collection and delivery next day,' he said.

MrArmeshad been sacked for gross misconduct after failing to deliver letters later found at the sorting office.

Clive Day, representing Royal Mail, told the tribunal that a pack of at least 30 letters had not been delivered by Mr Armes.

They were found at the sorting depot after they had been put back in a postbox.

Mr Armes was sacked for gross misconduct after an internal inquiry. He agreed that he had put five or six letters in a postbox after he had failed to deliver them - because a foot injury he had suffered stopped him climbing a steep road.

'The management turn a blind eye to it,' he said.

He denied, however, that he had ever been given the pack of 30 letters and said they could mistakenly have been picked up by another postman.

Delivery office manager Geoff Lane denied Mr Armes' claim at the tribunal, and said that the wilful delay of post was classed as a criminal offence.

The tribunal panel rejected the claim for unfair dismissal and said they were satisfied Royal Mail workers were aware that the re-posting of letters was an offence.
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Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Feb 9, 2003
Words:285
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