Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/24124

Posted on 19 December 2016 at 12:44 GMT

CWU members strike against post office closures and pension cuts

CWU picket line in Leeds photo Leeds Soic

CWU picket line in Leeds photo Leeds Soic   (Click to enlarge)

Iain Dalton, Leeds Socialist Party

After headlines describing post office strikers as bringing 'Christmas misery' or 'ruin', striking post office workers were in an angry mood outside St John's Centre Post Office in Leeds.

A real anger existed at the destruction of the Crown Post Office network which has been going on for around a decade, with post offices in major cities now found in shops such as WH Smiths and Wilkos, some even stuffed out of the way in basements.

Strikers that I spoke to saw this as symptomatic of the direction society is being taken in: "It started almost 40 years ago when Thatcher got in, and it carried on under Blair, he was a capitalist too."

Parallels were drawn with the steel industry, the railways and other areas that were publicly owned, which have now either been privatised, closed down or both. Several strikers told me they had voted for Brexit because they wanted a change to this, while another commented that many of the areas which had a majority 'leave' vote had seen whole industries destroyed.

Strikers worried about their own futures too. The Post Office wants to close their defined benefit pension scheme and transfer it to a defined contribution scheme, potentially losing workers thousands of pounds. Yet research commissioned by the CWU said the pension scheme was still viable.

Similarly, there was worry about what jobs would remain as more Crown Post Offices are closed and transferred into other shops. While some staff have transferred, their jobs are only guaranteed for a year or two; meanwhile new starters fare much worse. "They're on zero hour contracts, and on minimum wage", I was told.

Strikers also made reference to other strikes taking place amongst workers on Southern rail, airport baggage handlers and others. As one put it: "None of us that are striking are asking for more money, we just want to defend out jobs and terms and conditions - it says a lot that they're not prepared to give us that."


This version of this article was first posted on the Socialist Party website on 19 December 2016 and may vary slightly from the version subsequently printed in The Socialist.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.






Related links:

Leeds:

triangleGeneral election: what you thought about it

triangleLeeds Socialist Party: After the election - how can we defeat austerity?

triangleRallying in support of Corbyn's policies

triangleJune 1917: when workers in Britain first tried to form soviets

triangleYorkshire Socialist Party: The General Election - how can austerity be defeated?

Cuts:

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

triangleOpen University facing huge cuts

Closures:

triangleCarlisle HCT demo warns against cuts and closures

trianglePCS DWP conference 2017

triangleHuddersfield Socialist Party: A socialist health policy

CWU:

triangleNSSN conference: workers' action to kick out the Tories

triangleUnion stops finance for anti-Corbyn Labour MP

Pension:

triangleBMW strikers determined to win pensions dispute

Strike:

triangleWelsh college strike against crippling workload

Jobs:

triangleYoung workers in unions earn 20% more

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

24/6/17

Camden

Camden evacuation - residents expose fire risks

21/6/17

Grenfell Tower

Justice for Grenfell and safety for all

21/6/17

British Airways

Cabin crew calls two-week walkout over blacklisting accusations

21/6/17

Canterbury

Canterbury pride

21/6/17

Young people

Young socialists share ideas at London meeting

21/6/17

Government

Protests around the country demand: Tories out!

21/6/17

Unison

Unison conference: "A sense of change"

21/6/17

East London

Barts Trust NHS workers vote for action over pay

21/6/17

Manchester

Manchester housing maintenance dispute steps up action

21/6/17

South Wales

Welsh college strike against crippling workload

21/6/17

Grenfell Tower

Unions call for action after Grenfell

21/6/17

Grenfell Tower

Anger and grief on moving Grenfell marches

16/6/17

Grenfell Tower

Photos of Friday's demonstrations, protests and solidarity

16/6/17

London

Protest at the Queens Speech

16/6/17

Sheffield

Jobcentre strike grows in second round of action

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle24 Jun Camden evacuation - residents expose fire risks

triangle21 Jun Justice for Grenfell and safety for all

triangle21 Jun Cabin crew calls two-week walkout over blacklisting accusations

triangle21 Jun Anger and grief on moving Grenfell marches

triangle21 Jun The Queen's Speech; and defending the right to protest

triangle20 Jun Whole establishment exposed for role in Grenfell fire

triangle20 Jun Tories and May stagger on amid crisis - get them out!

More ...

triangle24 Jun Tamil Solidarity Day

triangle25 Jun East Midlands Socialist Party: Rebellion - Then and Now

triangle1 Jul London: Tories Out national demonstration

triangle3 Jul West Cheshire Socialist Party: Prepare for the next steps towards JC4PM

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2