Global Asbestos Awareness Week 2021 – Uniting in The Fight Against Asbestos and Related Diseases

Global Asbestos Awareness Week 2021 – Uniting in The Fight Against Asbestos and Related Diseases:

This week is Global Asbestos Awareness Week (GAAW) which is dedicated to increasing awareness of asbestos and preventing exposure by bringing together experts and victims from around the world to share, learn, and take action.

The week is organised by the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO), the largest independent non-profit making organisation in the USA, dedicated to preventing asbestos exposure, eliminating asbestos-related diseases, and protecting asbestos victims’ civil rights through education, advocacy, and community initiatives.

Worldwide, asbestos is the biggest cause of occupational cancer, claiming more than 230,000 lives a year worldwide, and around 125 million people are still exposed to it at work. 70% of the world still legally using asbestos, in particular within construction, ship building and the automotive industry.

Today in the UK, asbestos is the biggest occupational disease risk to construction workers, and asbestos can be found in buildings built before the year 2000.

Since asbestos accumulates in the body over time, the effects of exposure are often only seen later in life. There are around two-thirds of cancer deaths in the industry, which are caused by asbestos.

Asbestos can cause two types of cancer; Mesothelioma and Asbestos-related lung cancer. Alongside this, asbestos is also linked to serious lung diseases such as; Asbestosis and Diffuse Pleural Thickening. Despite bans on the use of this harmful material in the UK, exposure to asbestos is still a high risk.

For the past 16 years, Global Asbestos Awareness Week has been a time for Mesothelioma advocates, doctors, scientists, victims, and their friends and families to come together to spread awareness about the dangers of asbestos and asbestos-related diseases. This week provides a platform for people to share new medical knowledge, plan future legislative efforts, and provide community and support for those impacted by this deadly material.

It is 2021 – and asbestos is still not banned in the USA – despite having been banned in the UK for over 20 years. The UK banned chrysotile (White Asbestos) on 24 August, 1999. Chrysotile had been the only type of asbestos permitted in the UK since amosite (Brown Asbestos) and crocidolite (Blue Asbestos) were banned in 1985. Europe banned the use of asbestos in 2005 but half of the rest of the world still use asbestos.

While many other countries around the globe have been successful in their efforts to ban asbestos, the United States is far behind.  In fact, by some measures, the country is moving backward. In 2018, American imports of raw asbestos doubled to more than 750 metric tons.

Countless American schools, factories, machines, and homes still contain asbestos in their walls, paint, and insulation. Although past efforts from Mesothelioma advocates have impacted the way the USA uses asbestos, it’s clear that the fight goes on. Asbestos-related diseases cause more than 39,000 U.S. deaths each year.

Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive cancer caused by the inhalation or ingestion of asbestos fibres and is one of the most notorious asbestos-related diseases. There is no known cure for Mesothelioma, and the median life expectancy after a Mesothelioma diagnosis is only one year.

Manufacturers of asbestos-containing products in the USA have known about the deadly consequences of asbestos exposure, yet lobby members of Congress each year to be allowed to continue using the material in their products. These companies have shown time and time again that when it comes to choosing human life over short-term profits, they’ll choose to put profits above people.

Banning asbestos in the United States would mean tens of thousands of Americans would be saved from needless diseases and premature death. This is why we continue campaigning and trade unions continue the fight against asbestos use and negligent manufacturers. The CWU, TUC and other UK trade unions continue to fully support their campaign as we did in our support for the campaigners and trade unions in Canada in the successful international campaign to stop the re-opening of asbestos mines and restarting of asbestos production in Canada which eventually stopped mining asbestos in 2011 and banned the importation, manufacture, sale, trade or use of products made with the toxic mineral on 30 December 2018 (30 years after the World Health Organisation declared asbestos as a ‘human carcinogen’).

Asbestos is the biggest occupational cancer killer, claiming at least 233,000 lives a year worldwide – probably many, many more. In Britain alone around 5,000 people die from work-related asbestos exposure.

The risk from asbestos is considered to be so serious that more than 60 countries, including the UK and those in the European Union, have banned its use and have specific laws to protect workers and others who may be exposed to it.

However, asbestos is still used and imported into many countries, and there are still many thousands of tonnes of asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) in buildings, and in industrial plant and equipment, all over the world. Workers therefore remain at risk from breathing in asbestos fibres.

The TUC and CWU are part of an all UK unions campaign to remove asbestos from all UK buildings.

Use free resources to find out more about asbestos.

IOSH ‘No Time To Lose” Occupational Cancer (Asbestos) Campaign:

Since 2014, IOSH has been campaigning for occupational cancer prevention through its ‘No Time To Lose’ (NTTL) Campaign to which both the CWU and Royal Mail signed up to the campaign pledge.

Worldwide, work-related cancers claim at least 742,000 lives a year – that’s more than one death a minute. These cancers are caused by exposure to carcinogens including asbestos, silica dust, solar radiation and diesel engine exhaust emissions.

The No Time to Lose campaign aims to:

  • raise awareness of a significant health issue facing employees,
  • offer businesses free practical, original materials to help them deliver effective prevention programs,
  • secure commitments from organizations to improve preventative measures.

Through the campaign, IOSH launched a number of new materials to help raise awareness of asbestos and how to manage it. These include a fact guide, leaflet, pocket card for employees and posters plus presentations and ‘Duty to Manage’ flowcharts for employers.

IOSH is also encouraging more organisations to support the campaign and sign-up to its pledge. The pledge is a six-step plan which captures the key actions an organisation is already doing, or planning to do, to manage carcinogenic exposures within its workplace.

More than 400 organizations from 40 countries signed up to supporting the campaign and have agreed to raise awareness of occupational cancer, and 150 leading businesses signed up to the pledge to manage carcinogens in the workplace.

HSE ‘Hidden Killer’ (Asbestos) Campaign:

The Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) successful ‘Asbestos: Hidden Killer’ campaign was launched in 2008. 

During the campaign, there were a number of phases and the HSE evaluated the impact. The campaign was particularly targeted towards trades people and construction workers. Overall, the HSE used a variety of media and promotional outlets to promote the campaign and it is supported by a dedicated website and resources.

The campaign objectives were to:

  • Support the policy objective to reduce the overall number of workers dying from asbestos-related diseases.
  • Inform and educate the target audience that the risk from asbestos is current and relevant to them and the work that they do.
  • Encourage the target audience to actively seek information about asbestos and the ways they can protect themselves by undertaking a tailored call to action.

The successful HSE campaign was followed up with HSE directing attention at legal ‘Dutyholders’; Maintenance Contractors; Premises Owners and Facilities Managers, following the ‘Hidden Killer’ Campaign.

The asbestos campaign includes articles; leaflets; information and media broadcasts directed at legal ‘Dutyholders’; Maintenance Contractors; Premises Owners and Facilities Managers,  to assess what is being done to ensure the legal requirements to ‘manage’ the risks associated with asbestos on premises were fulfilled.

Managing the risk means making sure that as far as reasonably practicable, no-one can come to any harm from asbestos on the premises – Approved Code of Practice L127.

A legal ‘Dutyholder’ means… “every person who has, by virtue of a contract or tenancy, an obligation of any extent, in relation to the Maintenance & Repair of non-domestic premises, or any means of access thereto or egress therefrom” –  Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012.

The HSE states that it wants to ensure ‘Dutyholders’ are complying with the legal asbestos requirements, in accordance with all the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 and the HSE intention is to proactively enforce the legal requirement for legal Dutyholders to ‘manage’ asbestos correctly, as well as ensuring Premises Owners and Facilities Managers are fully implementing the correct level of asbestos inspections before any refurbishment or demolition project, as well as ensuring that all contractor operatives have Asbestos Awareness Training before coming onto site. The HSE states that it does not take non-compliance very sympathetically. In addition, breach of the regulations can lead to criminal prosecution; financial penalties and even imprisonment. If a fatality occurs due to the malpractice of ‘Dutyholder’ responsibilities, employers can also be prosecuted under the Corporate Manslaughter & Homicide Regulations 2008. The HSE prosecutes organisations and provides a ‘name and shame’ bulletin once conviction has been confirmed, causing huge marketing restrictions in the future and reducing professional reputation.

Action Mesothelioma Day 2021:

Action Mesothelioma Day is Friday 2 July 2021. Mesothelioma is a deadly cancer caused by breathing in asbestos dust. Mesothelioma takes a long time to develop. It’s normal for people to get the first symptoms 30 to 40 years after they were first exposed to asbestos. The annual Action Mesothelioma Day was set up to raise awareness of and pay tribute to people suffering with the asbestos-related cancer Mesothelioma. This year, it is being held on Friday 2 Julyacross the country. The UK has the world’s highest rate of Mesothelioma, with more than 2,700 people diagnosed with the disease each year – and this number is only increasing. The rising number of people being diagnosed with Mesothelioma has been directly linked to the UK’s continued import and use of deadly asbestos well into the 1990s. Each year, hundreds of people gather in cities across the UK to raise awareness of Mesothelioma, to call for better treatment and care for people living with Mesothelioma, for prevention of exposure to asbestos and to ban the import and export of asbestos around the world. Further information on Action Mesothelioma Day will be published in due course.

All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Occupational Safety & Health – Asbestos Report & Recommendations:

The CWU, TUC and other unions attend and participate in open meetings of the House of Commons APPG on Safety and Health which has been considering the issue of asbestos. Following on from its excellent October 2015 report, the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Occupational Safety and Health (APPG) continued to call for the accelerated removal of all asbestos from Britain’s buildings. The APPG believes that the time has come to put in place regulations requiring the safe, phased and planned removal of all the asbestos that still remains in place in Britain. Along with the TUC, CWU and other unions and asbestos campaign groups, the APPG is calling for legislation with a timetable for the eradication of asbestos in every workplace in Britain. It also wants a national programme of asbestos surveys and all home-buyers’ surveys to include asbestos reports.

Among its report recommendations were:

  • All commercial, public, and rented domestic premises should have to conduct and register with the Health & Safety Executive, a survey done by a registered consultant that indicates whether asbestos-containing material is present, and, if so, where it is and in what condition. This should be completed no later than 2022.
  • Where asbestos is identified in any premises, all refurbishment, repair or remedial work done in the vicinity of the asbestos-containing material should include the removal of the asbestos. Where no such work takes place or is planned within the foreseeable future, the duty holder must develop and implement a plan for the removal of all asbestos which ensures that removal is completed as soon as is reasonably practicable but certainly no later than 2035. In the case of public buildings and educational establishments, such as schools, this should be done by 2028.
  • The HSE, local authorities and other enforcing agencies must develop a programme of workplace inspections to verify that all asbestos-containing material identified is properly marked and managed and that asbestos eradication plans are in place and include, as part of the plan, an acceptable timeframe for the eradication. Resources should be made available to the enforcing agencies to ensure that they can ensure that all workplaces and public places are complying with the regulation relating to management and removal, and that disposal is being done responsibly and safely before any house sale is completed, a survey should be done which includes a survey of the presence of asbestos. Any asbestos-containing material should be labelled. Information on the presence of asbestos should be given to any contractor working on the house.

The All Party Parliamentary Group concluded that there is far too much complacency about the asbestos which can still be found in hundreds of thousands of workplaces, buildings and schools where children face exposure to this killer dust. The Group believe that the Government needs to start now on developing a programme to ensure that asbestos is safely removed from every workplace and public place so that once and for all this dreadful legacy which has killed so many people can be ended, because it will continue to kill until asbestos is eradicated.

The CWU and TUC welcomed the APPG’s report which demonstrates that new regulations are urgently needed in order to ensure that workers, children and the public are protected.


  • IOSH NTTL Campaign Asbestos Leaflet
  • HSE HK Campaign Leaflet

Yours sincerely

Dave Joyce
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer

LTB 151/21 – Global Asbestos Awareness Week 2021 – Uniting in The Fight Against Asbestos and Related Diseases

Asbestos Leaflet IOSH NTTL

Asbestos Hidden Killer Work Safely Leaflet

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Branches will be aware that the business recently held an independent online Trust Survey throughout Royal Mail Group from 22nd February to 2nd March 2021.  Whilst the Union had input into the questions set and the length of the questionnaire, the advanced publicity and timing of the survey dictated that the Union’s involvement was late in the day and limited to discussions about the questionnaire therefore it was considered inappropriate for us to jointly promote this initiative.

The Trust Survey had a 16% response rate which included various levels of managers and the results were presented to the Postal Executive at a meeting on 17th March 2021 by Rachel Blackett, Head of Engagement at Royal Mail Group.  Whilst 80% of respondents felt proud to work for the company, only 36% felt valued by Royal Mail Group and only 37% had trust in the Senior Leadership.

Clearly the new CEO, Simon Thompson has placed trust and culture at the centre of ongoing strategy and we, the CWU have made it clear that they are crucial factors in deploying our agreements successfully.  The identification of those issues being joint priorities throughout the engagement at all levels and especially in the workplace is totally consistent with our policies and illustrate a marked change in managerial thinking.

The results of the first and independent trust survey had a far more honest and authentic feel to them and were quite brutal in the exposed thinking and feelings of the employees in RMG.  Culture was a fundamental issue in our disputes over recent years and at last there was evidence that the surface had been scratched.

We fully appreciate people will be very cynical that surveys and questionnaires never result in action however we are determined to change the culture and we have to start somewhere and this is an early opportunity to influence and move that policy forward.

Against that backdrop, the Postal Executive agreed that joint activity of this type and encouraging the greater participation of our members could well be an important catalyst for improving culture, trust and the working environment going forward.  As a result, further meetings were held with the business in order to have input into an additional survey that could be jointly promoted.

Royal Mail Group is committed to conducting an annual research exercise to inform both their Annual Report & Accounts submission as well as their Annual Corporate Social Responsibility Report.  Historically this data has been gathered through the Employee Survey (ES) that the Union has had little opportunity to shape.  Whilst the business has continued to conduct the ES across the whole of RMG and some of the questions are mandatory in terms of benchmarking with external companies, it has had little credibility with our members or link with our joint agenda to improve both culture and the working environment.

On behalf of the DGS(P) Department, Postal Executive members Shelley Banbury, Katrina Quirke and David Wilshire met with Rachel Blackett, RMG and her team on both 23rd and 26th March 2021 to discuss how an agreed, revised and slim-line survey could be jointly conducted and supported.

The attached questionnaire has now been agreed and the survey is due to run from 19th April until 9th May 2021.  Branches will appreciate that this Big Trust Survey is far removed from the previous Employee Survey with the twenty-four questions (attached) being under half the previous size.  The survey is accessible via QR code, weblink or the RMG People App and is being promoted jointly in order to maximise the number of participants.  Whilst pay numbers are not required this time, the unit or shift where the feedback has occurred will be identified through the QR code therefore allowing for future joint targeted questions and analysis to take place with additional joint work where certain themes are identified.

Examples of some of the agreed joint briefing material to be used locally are also attached and Branches will see that in line with the joint commitments in the Pathway to Change Agreement these contain the key messages about improving culture, the working environment and trust.  The joint questionnaire includes our key culture question that was asked during the joint workplace visits to circa 65 sites in 2019 “I would recommend RMG to family or friends as key place to work”.

The results from this survey will enable us to drill down into every single site in the country and it is therefore important that the participation from our members is maximised.  Branches should note that time will be allowed during work time for members to complete the Big Trust Survey and that a postcard containing the unique unit code will be sent to home addresses.  In addition, a joint Facebook Live Session will take place in the same week as when the survey begins.

The data that is gathered and jointly assessed will help to inform our goal of delivering improved culture and trust and enhancing the workplace environment for our members.  In advance of this, further discussions are continuing to agree a protocol for developing joint action plans at a unit or shift level in order to address the issues that relate to the specific workplace.

The intention is to follow the main annual survey with smaller joint pulse surveys and the DGS(P) Department are also in discussions regarding how joint activity of this type can be taken forward and utilised on a quarterly national basis or at a regional, divisional and local level if required.

We believe it is very important to promote this survey and encourage as many of our members as possible to express their views with the confidence that they will not be identified as individuals and can absolutely help us make a difference.

Further developments will be reported in due course.

Any enquiries in relation to the content of this LTB should be addressed to the DGS(P) Department.

Yours sincerely,

Terry Pullinger

Deputy General Secretary (Postal)          

LTB 154/21

Attachment 1 to LTB 154-21

Attachment 2 to LTB 154-21

Attachment 3 to LTB 154-21

Attachment 4 to LTB 154-21                     

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Branches will be aware that an email was sent from Learning Services on 29th March 2021 regarding the move to an online platform on 6th April 2021 for delivery of the Welcome to Royal Mail Sessions (WtRM).  I can confirm that the CWU have been in dialogue with the business on this issue and am pleased to report that the Postal Executive endorsed the introduction of the online program when it met yesterday.


For some time, Royal Mail have been looking at how they deliver the Welcome to Royal Mail Sessions.  In July 2018 they contacted the CWU with a proposal to change the format of the course due to a number of findings:

  • Around 20% of candidates who received a job offer from Royal Mail dropped out before they even started, this amounted to around 1600 individuals who had been through recruitment, testing, interviews and vetting.
  • One of the reasons identified for the high candidate drop out was the Welcome to Royal Mail experience.  New entrants were required to attend an 8-hour classroom-based course on day 1 of employment.  Due to the fact these were held in Mail Centres meant that the geographical spread was large and in some cases resulted in new entrants travelling long distances in excess of 2 hours in order to attend.
  • As a result of the WtRM Sessions being held predominantly in Mail Centres, new entrants frequently had to wait weeks to get on the course as there needed to be sufficient numbers to run the session.

The Changes

In 2020, all direct recruitment was suspended due to the pandemic.  As we were coming out of the Covid lockdown, Royal Mail approached the Union with a proposal to move the WtRM Session onto an online portal.  The new entrants would go through the course in their own homes and would now be paid for doing so.

Although we were slightly sceptical of the concept, we agreed to a number of meetings with the business to discuss our mutual requirements in order to make sure that we had a product which was fit for purpose.  Following negotiations, we have agreed to a test of online Welcome to Royal Mail Day 1 Sessions.  The CWU section of the online portal can be viewed via the links below along with the material from Royal Mail.

In terms of our CWU Section, the candidates must go through our information before they can move onto the next section, which is something we insisted upon.

In the past we have been reliant on Branches turning up at the Day 1 Session to explain the benefits of joining.  In one 9-month period there were 810 WtRM sessions with 169 having no CWU Representative attend during our slot, which equates to 20% of sessions not attended.  Clearly, we have no way of checking who attended the course and where they were going to work therefore there was no way of tracking them.

The output from the online programme will be shared with the CWU on a regular basis and adjustments made accordingly.  One of the questions which new entrants will be asked following day 1 will be “have you been contacted by the CWU Representative in your office/Branch”.  Once again, this information is invaluable to us in monitoring the number of new members we recruit.

In order to apply for a position within Royal Mail, candidates need to do so online therefore it is assumed that they have access to the necessary technology to complete the online WtRM Session.  Royal Mail are advising the new entrants that the course will ideally be accessed via a PC/Laptop/Tablet.  If however, the new entrant does not have access to these devises, they will be asked in advance of the session to make arrangements with family/friends/public library (obviously after lockdown) however in the worst case scenario they can access the session via a smartphone.  If all else fails, arrangements can be made for them to attend their unit and use the IT equipment on site.

The online session can be viewed via the following links:

Part 1 –

Part 2 –

Part 3 –

This is a very new approach to welcoming new employees into Royal Mail and the CWU have been involved at every step.  The new employee, as you will see from the links above, is given a wealth of information about the CWU and the link to the website for them to join.  If membership is not taken up at that point there is still the opportunity to engage with them when they are introduced to the CWU Representative in their office as per the National Induction Training with Coaching Support Agreement.  The advantage of the online set up is that should there be no Representative in an office or if for some reason the introduction doesn’t take place, then we will be able to track the employee’s membership status with the additional information we will get from Royal Mail.  In turn, anyone who has not taken up membership will be flagged up to the Branch for them to follow up.

I have no doubt that colleagues will recognise the opportunity the online CWU session gives the Union to increase the number of new entrants joining on day 1 as well as providing additional time to recruit them in their workplace.  Furthermore, this initiative should be viewed as a major step in delivering the Postal Department/Executive’s agenda of increased CWU membership in the core Royal Mail business.  I can also confirm that with the Covid restrictions beginning to be relaxed, the DGS(P) Department will be looking to reinvigorate the activity that has been developed by Lynn Browne (Postal Senior Organiser) and her team to deliver both our organising agenda and focused recruitment activity in order to capture long-term non-members within the Postal Constituency as detailed in conference policy.

Regardless of whether RM will use this method of Welcome to Royal Mail on a permanent basis or not, we have established some key principles in respect of the Union’s involvement in the recruitment process going forward.

As this LTB relates to Postal Organising within Royal Mail, any enquiries on its content should be directed in the first instance to Lynn Browne, Senior Organiser Postal lbrowne@cwu.organd copied to or subsequently to the DGSP Department.

Yours sincerely,

Terry Pullinger

Deputy General Secretary (Postal)                            

LTB 153/21   

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Election of: Parcelforce Worldwide Substitute Area Health & Safety Representative – North Region

Election of: Parcelforce Worldwide Substitute Area Health & Safety Representative – North Region

Further to LTB 108/21 dated 16th March 2021, the position for Substitute Area Health & Safety Representative North Region became vacant due to Paul Devlin being appointed as the Area Health & Safety representative North Region.

Nominations are now invited from members in the respective Parcelforce Worldwide Region (including RMSS) for the following position:-

  • Substitute Area Health & Safety Representative – North Region

A nomination form is attached to this LTB, completed forms must be signed by the Branch Secretary and Branch Chair or accredited deputies and the nominee, should be returned to Tony Kearns, Senior Deputy General Secretary on the following email by 26th April 2021

The timetable for nominations is as follows:-

Nominations Open :  12th April  2021

Nominations Close :  26th April 2021 (2.00pm)

Should a ballot be required the timetable will be advised to branches in due course.

Any enquiries regarding this LTB should be addressed to the Senior Deputy General Secretary’s Department, telephone number 020 8971 7237 or email address

Yours sincerely,

Tony Kearns

Senior Deputy General Secretary

LTB 152/21 – Election of Parcelforce Worldwide Substitute Area Health & Safety Representative North Region

Election Guidelines 2021

Candidates Consent Form

Nomination Form

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Branches are advised that we have reached an agreement with the Post Office for bonus payments for Travel and Mails Product Specialists for Quarter 4 – January to March 2021.

The agreement provides for a maximum possible £250 bonus for both the Mails Product Specialists and the Travel Product Specialists. As per the arrangements described in LTB 019/2021, these payments have been agreed despite the absence of targets as a consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Below is a Joint Statement explaining that this will be the final payment for the quarterly bonus scheme as both bonus payments and the inpay allowance have now been consolidated in basic pay as part of the 2020/21 pay award.

Joint Statement – Product Specialist (PS):

Quarter 4 Bonus Payment

We are pleased to announce that following payments for Quarter 4 (the period between January and March) as the final payment for the Product Specialist Bonus scheme

·       Travel Product Specialists – £250

·       Express Mails Specialists – £250

Payments will be made in April salaries.

This will be the final payment for the quarterly bonus scheme as both bonus payments and the inpay allowance have been replaced by the consolidation of the scheme into basic pay, which was agreed as part of the 2020/21 pay award.

Although the bonus scheme has now finished, you will need to continue to give the focus and dedication to building capability across the team in Mails and Travel related products and ensuring that our customers receive the very best service.

We would like to thank you all for your hard work through a challenging year.

Steve Blampied

Head of Directly Managed &

WHS Branch Network

Andy Furey

Assistant Secretary


I’m sure our Product Specialist members, who are doing their very best in these challenging circumstances, will welcome this final payment for Quarter 4 and enjoy the benefits of the consolidated payment in their basic pay going forward.

Yours sincerely

Andy Furey

Assistant Secretary

LTB 150/21 – Post Office – Product Specialist Bonus Scheme – Quarter 4 Payment

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Union Warns Dog-Owner “Got Off Lightly” After £2,000 Compensation Bill For Attack On Northamptonshire Postie – Finger Tip Bitten Off Through The Letter Box (Northampton Chronicle & Echo): Plus Fatal Dog Attack On 85 Year Old Pensioner In Rowley Regis/Near Birmingham

Union Warns Dog-Owner “Got Off Lightly” After £2,000 Compensation Bill For Attack On Northamptonshire Postie – Finger Tip Bitten Off Through The Letter Box (Northampton Chronicle & Echo): Plus Fatal Dog Attack On 85 Year Old Pensioner In Rowley Regis/Near Birmingham:

For your information and interests, please see attached press cutting which appeared in the Northampton Chronicle & Echo regional press over the Easter break. This reports on the successful conviction of a dog owner who allowed her dog to attack the mail as it was posted through the letterbox, biting off the tip of the postwoman’s finger (an all too common occurrence). The dog owner received a 12-month conditional discharge and was ordered to pay the victim £2000 compensation.

In response to the press enquiry and interview we welcome the sentence but made the point that the dog owner got off lightly and the injuries could have been much worse (dog owners can face up to five years in prison and unlimited fines for allowing their dogs to injure a person).

Through the press, we also strongly advised dog owners that have an animal that attacks the mail when it comes through the letter box that the simple solution is to buy a letterbox cage for around £15 and fit it to the front door which will protect both the customer’s mail and the postal worker’s fingers. Alternatively, an outside mail box can be fitted to the home or perimeter fence as indeed many more responsible people with dogs now do.

You will also have heard the very sad news regarding an 85-year-old pensioner mauled to death in the back garden of her home in Rowley Regis just outside Birmingham on Friday when a neighbour’s two dogs escaped by bursting through a fence into the garden, launching a sustained attack, following which she tragically died at the scene.

The worry always is that these irresponsible owners with powerful, vicious dogs of this kind will allow them to escape and attack the postman/woman – our members – whilst they are delivering mail and parcels.

In respect of these two cases – would ASRs/WSRs please remind all members:

  • Don’t put your fingers through the letter box (dogs don’t always bark and make a lot of noise – some stay deadly silent just waiting for the opportunity to attack).
  • Stay alert and be aware of dogs on premises at all times! If in doubt always err on the side of caution. ‘If In Doubt – Stay Out!’

Top Tips for Royal Mail and Parcelforce Outdoor Delivery and Collection Members:

Remember “AVOID:”

A–Avoid interacting with all dogs

V–Value yourself and don’t take risks

O–Observe; keep your walk log/WRAP up to date

I–Inform workmates of potential dog risks to stop them being attacked

D–Defend yourself if necessary, using your delivery equipment

  • Never put your fingers through a letterbox.
  • 83% of attacks happen at a customer’s door or on the garden path – so take no risks.
  • Listen and look for signs of a dog’s presence.
  • Never accept a dog owner’s assurances that the dog is OK – ask the owner to restrain their dogs and put them safe.
  • Use your pouch or trolley as a barrier between you and a dog, if approached unexpectedly.
  • Report all dogs on your duty via the WRAP system and check Walk Logs.
  • Reports all dog attacks and near misses no matter how minor – it could be serious next time!
  • Report incidents to your manager and then to the police. You could help stop future attacks happening.

Royal Mail Group and the CWU are committed to driving dog attack numbers down. We now have the law in place to do it but we need to get messages across to members:

  • Firstly, don’t take risks! – ‘If In Doubt – Stay Out!’
  • Secondly, don’t ignore minor incidents! – report it! It may be far worse next time!
  • Thirdly, under the Dangerous Dogs Act, postal workers have legal protection from dog attacks on private property. Support investigations and prosecutions. Too many injured members refuse to support prosecutions and give evidence, leaving bad dog owners who are guilty of criminal offences to get away scot-free!


  • Press Report on Rushden, Northamptonshire Dog Attack – Postal Worker Finger Tip Bitten Off.
  • Police/Press Report On Rowley Regis/Birmingham Area Fatal Dog Attack On Pensioner In Her Back Garden.

Yours sincerely

Dave Joyce
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer

21LTB149 Union Warns Dog-Owner Got Off Lightly After £2,000 Compensation Bill For Attack On Northamptonshire Postie

Postwoman Dog Attack Case – 2000 Compensation Order Conditional Discharge

Rowley Regis Dog Attack

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CWU 2022 Diary

CWU 2022 Diary

We are now taking orders for CWU 2022 diaries.  Please find attached an electronic diary order form for your branch use.

We continue to offer branches personalised diaries at no additional cost.  Branches can personalise an area on the front cover of the CWU pocket diary and also have the option to have a personalised page (printed on one side only) which will be inserted near the front of the pocket diary.

The CWU pocket diary is priced at £1.75 and the A5 desk diary is priced at £2.65.

We also continue to offer branches bulk discount on pocket diaries only on orders of 1,000 or more for £1.40 per diary.

Branches ordering unaltered diaries should return their completed order form by no later than Friday 17th September.

Personalised branch diary orders only

Branch personalised diary orders must be returned by no later than Friday 21st May. On receipt of your order form you will be emailed the appropriate template(s), please ensure to include your email address as this is where your template(s) will be sent together with further instructions.

Please complete your template(s) as soon as possible and note the return deadline is Friday 11th June. Due to strict deadlines any orders or proofs received after the dates provided may not be processed.

If you would like to use your 2021 diary template(s) and there are no changes, please advise Marcia Murray.

Orders will be based on the following:

Minimum order to personalise front cover: 250 units

Minimum order to insert page: 500 units

Minimum order to personalise front cover and insert page: 500 units

All completed order forms and enquiries on this LTB should be sent to Marcia Murray by email to

The diaries will be dispatched from Monday 27th September 2021.

Kind regards,

Chris Webb
Head of Communications, Engagement and Media

21LTB147 – CWU 2022 Diary

Diary Order Form

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Branches will recall that on the 1st October 2020, Royal Mail and Compass Group ended the Quadrant Joint Venture and RMG entered a commercial contract with the Eurest section of Compass Group for the ongoing provision of catering services to our members in Royal Mail Group.  This involved the transfer of our Quadrant members to Compass Group (Eurest).

As part of the new commercial contract, Eurest intended a rebranding of the restaurant facilities and an update of the food offering. However, the Covid -19 pandemic and the necessary social distancing arrangements, including the introduction of a take away only service, affected the timing of this activity.

Given the above during the Covid-19 period utilisation of the restaurants and Breakfast Bar facilities has markedly reduced, exacerbating downward trends in usage over many years.  The department has therefore been discussing with Royal Mail and Eurest measures to make the catering offering more attractive to our Royal Mail members as lockdown measures ease.

Eurest have now informed the department that the relaunch and rebranding activity will commence from Monday 12th April 2021.   This will involve:

  • New signage & branding for Restaurants – The Place
  • New uniforms for all Eurest Employees
  • The Place – The Movie (for Eurest employees who will receive 30 minutes O/T to watch)
  • New Menu Launch and introductory Special Offers for Customers.

The above activity is designed to attract customers who do not currently choose to use the restaurant facilities and encourage existing customers to use the facilities more often.

While it is not the role of the union to advertise on behalf of Eurest, in discussions with Royal Mail the department have impressed our view that the provision of subsidised catering services to our members remains an obligation on behalf of the company.  Equally, the retention of current facilities is of key importance to our Eurest members working in restaurants and breakfast bars across the RMG estate.

As such we would ask Branches and Representatives to promote the use of Eurest services with our Royal Mail Group members to assist in protecting the provision of service into the future and in support of our Eurest members.

Attached for the information of Branches and Representatives is the material associated with the launch, which the business has shared with the department.

Any enquiries in relation to this LTB should be addressed to Davie Robertson, Assistant Secretary, email: quoting reference: 311.02

Yours sincerely

Davie Robertson
Assistant Secretary

21LTB145 – Eurest (Quadrant) Rebranding – The Place

The Place Launch

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It is with great sadness that we write to inform you of the recent passing of Dave Emberson former National Executive member and Branch Secretary of the Western MT Branch.

Dave was originally a member of the POEU from 1962 and served at every level of the union, including the National Executive, Regional and Branch positions.

Dave was a BT Fleet Technician who joined what was then the GPO back in 1960 and he retired from BT in 1994.

He was awarded the union’s Gold Badge in recognition of his services to our members and he continued to contribute as a retired member of the Western MT Branch until his recent passing.

The union has been in contact with Dave’s daughter Julie, who is keen to ensure that her father’s contribution to the Trade Union movement is not forgotten and has asked that if anyone wishes to mark his passing, they can do so by contributing to his preferred charity the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance Service.

We are advised that such donations can be sent either to Lesley Shand Funeral Service, 184 Wareham Road, Corfe Mullen, Wimborne BH21 3LL or be paid online at

Finally, I know I speak on behalf of all of Dave’s longstanding friends and colleagues in the union, in offering our sincere condolences to Dave’s daughter Julie and their family and in saying that he will be greatly missed.

Yours sincerely

Dave Ward
General Secretary


Errata – Election of CWU Regional Secretaries 2021 – Ballot Timetable

Errata – Election of CWU Regional Secretaries 2021 – Ballot Timetable

Further to LTB 143/21 dated 1st April 2021 there was a typographical error in the wording and it should have read “ballot papers for the Regional Secretary Elections in Northern Ireland, South East and London Regions will now be dispatched from 8th April 2021”.

As previously advised ballot papers will be sent to members by 1stclass post.

Please note that the closing date for the ballots remains 27th April 2021.

Any enquiries regarding this LTB should be addressed to the Senior Deputy General Secretary’s Department on telephone number 0208 971 7237 or email address

Yours sincerely,

Tony Kearns
Senior Deputy General Secretary

21LTB146 – Errata – Election of CWU Regional Secretaries – Ballot Timetable

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