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From The Socialist newspaper, 20 September 2007

No victimisation of postal workers

Defend the Burslem 12

Postal workers at Burslem delivery office in Stoke walked out on 11 September when twelve workers were suspended on trumped up charges of 'suspicion of harassment'.

Andy Bentley

Postal workers at Burslem have been forced to take strike action over different issues since November 2006. First, as part of a north midland-wide strike action against an attempt to impose part-time working at the end of 2006. Then in defence of Dave Condliffe who has been unfairly victimised by Royal Mail (RM) management and of course more recently alongside postal workers nationally in the strikes against the pay offer.

RM bosses have got away with bullying tactics for long enough in Burslem and elsewhere. But the scale of this latest assault is unprecedented and is an attack on the 12 suspended workers, on all postal workers and on the CWU.

None of these 12 workers have harassed anyone. In fact, it's RM management in Burslem which has a record of intimidation and bullying. These workers are guilty, like other postal workers, only of fighting to defend pay, conditions and the postal service itself.

This attack by management is partly an act of revenge to try to re-establish their 'authority' over workers. But their tactic of bullying and victimising staff is also part of a wider strategy dictated by Blair and now Brown's government to soften up the workforce in preparation for further running down of the service and privatisation.

On the basis of 'evidence' which RM cannot produce because it does not exist, these twelve workers could lose their jobs. But, it's no accident that most of the 12 are either Communication Workers Union (CWU) representatives or key activists in Burslem.

If RM bosses get away with this, which group of postal workers will be next? This is an attack on all postal workers across Britain and must be fought by the full weight of the CWU nationally.

Public Meeting

Defend the Burslem Twelve

27 September, 7.30pm.
WRVS, Charles St, Hanley
(at side of bus station, next to Iceland)

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Related links:

Burslem 12:

triangleGiving the real facts on Burslem strike

triangleBurslem postal workers march back to work

triangleMarching behind the Burslem 12

trianglePostal workers fight to defend the Burslem 12

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triangleDoncaster: snap strike by posties pushes bully bosses back

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