A GROUP of postal workers are preparing to go on strike during Royal Mail's busiest time of year in support of a postman who was unfairly sacked.

Staff at the Cupar delivery office in Fife will stage a 24 hour walkout from 8.30am on Saturday in a show of solidarity with their former colleague David Mitchell who was dismissed a year ago after 27 years' service with the delivery firm.

Mr Mitchell was sacked because bosses believed he was stealing, however an employment tribunal found there was no evidence of that.

Employment Judge Ian McFatridge ordered the firm to reinstate him but they have refused to do so.

Mr Mitchell's former colleagues have now voted in favour of industrial action in a ballot by the Communications Workers' Union (CWU) which showed 97 per cent of members in favour of the strike.

The Herald: Residents in Cupar will be hit by the strike actionResidents in Cupar will be hit by the strike action

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.”

Under current law, a tribunal can make an order for employers to reinstate or re-engage a sacked worker, but they cannot enforce it.

If an employer refuses to reinstate a worker they are instead forced to pay an additional financial penalty.

The Herald: Royal Mail have refused to reinstate Mr MitchellRoyal Mail have refused to reinstate Mr Mitchell

Royal Mail have told the tribunal it is "not practicable" to reinstate Mr Mitchell and have also launched a bid to avoid paying him the extra money (26 to 52 weeks salary).

A judgment will be issued on that point at a future date.

A Royal Mail spokesman 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."