Postal strike unlikely despite discord at sorting offices

Postal workers yesterday moved to quell fears over the delivery of Christmas mail after it emerged that postal staff were at loggerheads with a contractor at the four national mail centres over staff changes.

It emerged yesterday that the Communication Workers Union (CWU) had raised its concerns with IO systems, which maintains sorting machinery in the four mail centres, over a move to send home 38 technicians on Monday evening.

Sean MacDonagh of the CWU said IO Systems, which is based in Athlone, Co Westmeath, had last night agreed to place the technicians back on the payroll and that the company and the union would hold talks today.

IO Systems is a subsidiary of Japanese firm Okamoto Kogyo and carries out maintenance on machinery at the four centres in Dublin, Cork, Athlone, and Portlaoise.

Mr MacDonagh, who is the national officer in the CWU with responsibility for An Post and IO Systems, said the move by IO to send home the technicians on Monday night was outside the terms of union-recognised agreements.

“They started implementing a whole range of changes without discussing them with us,” he said.

Mr MacDonagh described the technicians as “highly skilled, permanent people” and said while IO Systems may want to change elements of how it carries out its work, the company needed to do so within the parameters of existing agreements.

“What we have insisted is they have to do it properly and in accordance with agreed procedures,” he said.

An Post has no involvement in the discussions, which are due to take place this morning, and Mr MacDonagh said there was no threat to the delivery of mail at what is traditionally the busiest time of the year for the postal service.

“To my mind there is no desire for any industrial action,” he said.

Efforts to contact a spokesperson for IO Systems yesterday were unsuccessful.


This truck serves as an excellent metaphor for what needs to happen in our education system. A colossal truck needs to barge in front of it.Secret Diary of an Irish Teacher: Time to ditch private schools

Sorting out Cork people for ages...Ask Audrey: Is it still ok to just lob the gob after 10 pints?

Nip those winter ailments in the bud with the help of garden bounty. Fiann Ó Nualláin shows you how.Have a berry merry Christmas with the help of garden bounty

Dig a planting hole around three times the size of its pot and around the same depth, loosening the soil around the hole.Your quick guide to planting trees

More From The Irish Examiner