Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 1 June 2001

Bosses Provoke Postal Strike

FOLLOWING AN official strike at Royal Mail Watford, management provocatively diverted work to Liverpool. When workers refused to sort the work there, seven workers were suspended. As work was diverted around the country up to 50,000 workers came out on strike. Two postal workers describe what happened at their workplaces.

ON 22 May, Watford work was diverted to Nine Elms, south London.

A south London postal worker

We had already modified the sorting procedure to provide extra selections for the area around Watford. We discussed what to do and decided to resume work.

But while union rep Phil Bell was answering questions from the members, he was sent home. At this the workforce walked out.

The manager refused to talk to Carl Maden, Area Processing Rep. Instead he issued a leaflet saying: "We expect Phil Bell to attend at 06:00 on Wednesday 23 May for duty, on the basis that he agrees to work normally and as directed.

"We are asking all of you to come to work this afternoon and undertake your duties fully. This will include breakdowns of work for Liverpool, Watford or any other locations that we are asked to provide."

After five and a half hours and the escalation of the dispute, the management agreed to meet Carl Maden.


WORKERS FROM Whitechapel sorting office were pursued out of the depot and up the road by management.

Angela Mulcahy, Area Processing rep, Whitechapel sorting office, east London

They walked out after being stopped from meeting in the canteen with their union reps. Management claimed they had the right to listen in to the workers' meeting.

Eventually union reps managed to convince management that they were only making things worse but not surprisingly Whitechapel then voted to strike.

When the official 24-hour strike started in Watford, management instructed postal workers in Whitechapel to do a comprehensive sort and breakdown of mail to the Watford area, causing the walkout.

Only weeks before, without consultation, management had abolished comprehensive sorting and imposed "simplified sorting", degrading the service provided by the Whitechapel depot. We had to take industrial action then over that issue.

After John Keggie, postal union, CWU deputy general secretary, fixed a deal with Watford, he promised there would be no victimisation. But management attempted to discipline Angela and two other reps in the London area, prolonging the strike, until the threats were rescinded.

Stop Postal Job Losses

SEVERAL HUNDRED postal workers, socialists and community activists marched through Islington, London, last Saturday against the threatened closure of the Northern District Office (NDO) mail centre. Management want to close the Almeida Street office and transfer the work to Greenford in Middlesex. This will mean a loss of 300 manual jobs from the local economy.

Members of the Communications Workers' Union (CWU) are balloting for strike action against the transfer.

The union's vice-president, Andy Fury, said at a rally after the march that the union's London division will support a strike and would conduct a ballot for action throughout the capital.

Also speaking at the rally was a Liverpool postal worker who said her sorting office has been under threat of closure for the last three years.

Liverpool CWU members and members throughout the North-West had backed the striking Watford postal workers whose action against management-imposed shift arrangements led to massive unofficial strike action throughout the country last week.

To cheers, she said the Liverpool workers had, in seven days of unofficial action, achieved more in terms of working arrangements than in eight months of negotiations.

Islington Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn also spoke against the closure and raised the spectre of Post Office privatisation.

He pointed to the disaster of privatisation of the railways but failed to call for renationalisation and spoke not one word of criticism of the Blair government - whose re-election will lead to Post Office privatisation.

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

In The Socialist 1 June 2001:

Vote Socialist

Defend The Right To Strike

Vote Socialist - For Real Change

Oldham Youth Resist Racist Provocation

New Labour's Flexible Friends

Asylum: Tories And Labour Play The Race Card

The rot at the core of public services

Macedonia Slides Toward Civil War

Unions Need A Political Voice

Bosses Provoke Postal Strike


Home   |   The Socialist 1 June 2001   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  

Related links:

Postal workers:

triangleRoyal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

triangleCWU fights court attempt to stop national strike

triangleSet for national strike action

triangleDoncaster: snap strike by posties pushes bully bosses back


triangleDriving examiners walkout hits first day of new test

triangleSchool staff strike against privatisation

triangleTeachers strike in Sheffield

triangleDramatic retelling of Grunwick strike


triangleTamil Solidarity AGM & public meeting

triangleBrutal rail privateer Abellio takes over Midlands rail services

triangleSocialism 2018


triangleStrikers rally in Liverpool

triangleLiverpool John Moores Uni landslide for Socialist Students


triangleBT pensions review - oppose the attacks on the pension schemes

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns



Anti-DOO lobby of Liverpool's transport committee



Unite protest against blacklisting


Donald Trump

Mobilise to stop bigoted billionaire Donald Trump's state visit to Britain



Arriva bus strikers stand firm



BT pensions review - oppose the attacks on the pension schemes



Driving examiners walkout hits first day of new test



School staff strike against privatisation



Brutal rail privateer Abellio takes over Midlands rail services



PCS Left Unity celebrates 40th anniversary at annual conference


North Yorkshire

Court maintains injunction against fracking protesters


Waltham Forest

Waltham Forest Universal Credit protest



Coventry Socialist sales hit 1,000



TUSC conference to debate 2018 elections



Liverpool John Moores Uni landslide for Socialist Students



Plans to launch no-cuts campaign at Kirklees College

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

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

triangle8 Dec Local government pay: fight for the full 5% claim

triangle6 Dec Strikers rally in Liverpool

triangle6 Dec Corbyn's Labour can defeat Tories with socialist programme

triangle5 Dec Victory at Glenfield shows people power can save our NHS

triangle5 Dec Labour council Blairites deselected

triangle30 Nov Victory: Glenfield Children's Heart Centre saved!

triangle30 Nov Dramatic retelling of Grunwick strike

More ...

triangle11 Dec Leeds Socialist Party: Campaigning workshop

triangle11 Dec Bristol North Socialist Party: Christmas Quiz

triangle12 Dec Birmingham South East Socialist Party: Can the Labour Party be changed?

triangle12 Dec Liverpool Socialist Party: Fighting council cuts

More ...

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



December 2017

November 2017

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017





















Platform setting: = No platform choice