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From The Socialist newspaper, 22 April 2009

Postal workers' solidarity action

Members of the CWU at the Royal Mail sorting office in Woolwich took industrial action on 31 March and 14 April demanding the full reinstatement of victimised worker Andy Holman, a delivery worker who was sacked just before Christmas last year.

Paul Callanan

Andy Holman was sacked for making a mistake doing a job that his employers hadn't trained him to do. The union also hotly disputes the evidence against him.

After making the mistake, he was guaranteed by his employers that he would not face the sack but they still went ahead and fired him. This came just after the employers, who claim to have a zero tolerance policy on bullying and harassment, found two managers at the same office guilty of bullying and harassing other members of staff. They were let off with a slap on the wrist and sent on a course with no further action being taken.

CWU local union rep Neil Morgan highlighted the hypocrisy of the Royal Mail management, pointing out that they: "Sacked Andy for making a genuine mistake while the two managers found guilty of bullying were let off".

This is part of the Royal Mail management's efforts to create a climate of fear in order to deter workers from taking action in times of economic crisis and threatened privatisation of postal services.

Their efforts have been in vain, as both the one-hour stoppage on 31 March and the 24-hour strike on 14 April were 100% solid with no workers crossing the picket line and bringing postal services in the area to a standstill. The union is considering a south east London wide strike later this month. The union is also preparing to fight against job cuts that will come as part of the Royal Mail's so-called savings and modernisation plans.

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