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:

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

triangleLeeds Socialist Party: Women & the Russian Revolution

triangleLeeds Socialist Party: Building the Socialist Party in Leeds

triangleLeeds Socialist Party: LGBT rights & the Russian Revolution

triangleLeeds Socialist Party: British Perspectives

Cuts:

triangleBirmingham Central Socialist Party: NHS cuts - What do The Tories' STP plans involve?

triangleWorkplace news in brief

triangleArgos fails to pay staff minimum wage - taxman cuts fine in half!

Closures:

triangleSupport the NHS? Join the march!

trianglePCS union pledges to fight Jobcentre job losses at public meetings

triangleNo cuts, no closures, save our NHS!

CWU:

triangleObituary: John Pickett - 1954-2017

triangleVictory: removed Royal Mail workers reinstated

Pension:

triangleTata pension deal: 'Gun to the head' offer accepted

Strike:

triangle13 million-strong Italian general strike

Jobs:

triangleWhat we saw

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

24/2/17

Spelthorne

Needed: socialist councillors

22/2/17

Bristol

Bristol: Hundreds march against council cuts

22/2/17

Fighting Fund

A world to win - give us the resources!

22/2/17

Leicester

Leicester Unison no-cuts budget call

22/2/17

Trump

Socialism not Trumpism: Thousands more protest and plan to walkout

22/2/17

Union

Workplace news in brief

22/2/17

Unison

Unison Women's Conference

22/2/17

NHS

Stop victimising NHS whistleblowers

22/2/17

Socialist Party

Socialist Party regional conference reports

22/2/17

Tower Hamlets

Tower Hamlets anti-cuts budget lobby

20/2/17

Russian revolution

Meetings on the 1917 Russian Revolution

17/2/17

Steel

Tata pension deal: 'Gun to the head' offer accepted

15/2/17

London

Vibrant Picturehouse pickets in continued living wage strike

15/2/17

Leicester

Thousands march to defend Glenfield heart centre

15/2/17

May Day

May Day greetings in the Socialist

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


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

triangle24 Feb Byelections: Break with Labour Blairism wasn't on offer

triangle24 Feb Needed: socialist councillors

triangle22 Feb Support the NHS? Join the march!

triangle22 Feb Thousands more protest and plan to walkout

triangle22 Feb February revolution 1917 - what lessons for today?

triangle21 Feb Dublin: #JobstownNotGuilty

triangle17 Feb Tata pension deal: 'Gun to the head' offer accepted

More ...

triangle27 Feb Leeds Socialist Party: Building the Socialist Party in Leeds

triangle27 Feb Nottingham Socialist Party: The inspirational life of Eleanor Marx

triangle27 Feb Birmingham Central Socialist Party: NHS cuts - What do The Tories' STP plans involve?

triangle28 Feb Bristol Socialist Party: February 1917 Russian Revolution

More ...

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

Archive

Archives:

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